Henry Powderly – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Mon, 19 Jul 2021 18:01:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.4 Answer MarTech’s survey on attending or exhibiting at in-person events /answer-martechs-survey-on-attending-or-exhibiting-at-in-person-events-350582 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 18:01:42 +0000 /?p=350582 MarTech's Event Participation Index has been following how ready marketers are for conferences. Please tell us your thoughts.

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Pre-pandemic life is starting to return. Travel is up. Masks are coming off. And indoor dining is an option once more.

The relaxation in pandemic restrictions is also rippling through the business world as conferences and trade shows schedule in-person events for this summer and fall. We’re not surprised, since the last edition of our Events Participation Index showed that many marketers were ready to hit the conference hall floor as early as the third quarter of 2021.

But a sizable number of marketers still seemed luke-warm to the idea of business travel, which is why we are once again asking marketers to share their sentiments on returning to in-person events.

Please click here to take our 3-minute survey.

We will publish the results in the coming weeks on MarTech.

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Hey search community, we’re hiring a content and SEO manager for MarTech and Search Engine Land /hey-search-community-were-hiring-a-content-and-seo-manager-for-martech-and-search-engine-land-349198 Thu, 03 Jun 2021 15:21:37 +0000 /?p=349198 We are looking for someone who can help us grow our audience of digital marketers through SEO, content and website optimization, and by building content destinations that drive organic search traffic.

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We know our audience is made up of talented SEOs, which is why we’re very excited to announce that we are looking for an experienced content and SEO manager to work on Third Door Media’s flagship brands MarTech and Search Engine Land.

Specifically, we are looking for someone who can help us grow our audience of digital marketers through SEO, content and website optimization, and by building content destinations that drive organic search traffic.

What you will do

As Manager of Content and SEO your main responsibility is increasing the size of our audience through organic search and maximizing engagement with our content on our editorial properties Search Engine Land and MarTech. Key tasks include:

  • Keyword research, search trend and competitive analysis
  • Management of content archives, including updating, redirecting or repositioning content to align with SEO goals
  • Creation of articles, guides, landing pages, wikis or other content destinations designed to give searchers the answers they seek
  • Content optimization for all new content, leveraging good SEO practices
  • Creation of in-article features designed to increase engagement
  • Tracking all content analytics and reporting on trends and opportunities to the editorial and the management team

Who we are looking for

The ideal candidate is someone who has both experience in content and on-page SEO and has a working knowledge of the topics we focus on at Third Door Media: digital marketing, marketing technology, marketing transformation and search marketing. Further, the ideal candidate is:

  • Driven by data and endlessly curious
  • Believes in the value of SEO and knows how to leverage best practices
  • Is a strong writer who can create compelling content, whether it’s deep destination pages or snappy descriptions, briefs and headlines
  • Is highly organized  
  • Knows how to tell a compelling data story
  • Has 3-5 years experience working in SEO, digital media, content or audience development,
  • BONUS: Experience with creating content beyond text: Design, Video, Data viz, Infographic, etc.

If you are interested, please send me your resume, cover letter and clips or portfolio to hpowderly@thirddoormedia.com.

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Most marketers expect to attend in-person conferences by early 2022 /most-marketers-expect-to-attend-in-person-conferences-by-early-2022-348198 Wed, 28 Apr 2021 14:22:55 +0000 /?p=348198 But as employers once again allow staff to travel, professionals are also growing fonder of virtual events.

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Mayur Gupta, former CMO of Freshly, speaks at the 2019 MarTech conference in San Jose.

For organizers forced to abandon conference centers for digital consoles, here’s the good news: The majority of marketers are ready to come back to in-person conferences by the start of 2022. But improvements in virtual conferences and lingering uneasiness about the pandemic will likely mean smaller shows at the outset.

About 38% of the nearly 250 marketers we surveyed in March said it is extremely likely that they will attend an in-person show in the first half of 2022, while about 45% gave the prospect a moderate to somewhat likely possibility. The numbers shrink as you get closer to the present, with only 21% saying it is extremely likely they would attend in-person events in the fourth quarter of 2021 and an even smaller 17% saying it is extremely likely they’d attend in the third quarter.

The results were part of the March edition of the Events Participation Index survey, which we have fielded regularly since the beginning of the pandemic to help organizers understand the attitudes of the marketing community towards conference attendance.

The increased likelihood that marketers will attend in-person events soon comes as more employers lift restrictions on business travel. According to our survey, 23% of respondents said their companies already allow work travel. About 30% said their employers will lift restrictions in the third quarter, 17% said their employers will lift restrictions in the fourth quarter and 30% said their employers will not lift restrictions until 2022.

Related: Marketers say COVID vaccines create hope for quick return of in-person events

The responses should give organizers hope that in-person shows could succeed if held in the fourth quarter or early 2022, but they also suggest a percentage of marketers are still very unsure about their willingness to attend in person.

In fact, 55% of respondents said they would only attend virtual events in 2021.

Here to stay

The COVID-19 pandemic essentially shut down the in-person events and entertainment industry overnight, but it gave new life to digital events. The pivot also equalized experiences, as major trade shows and smaller regional conferences were generally reduced to video-based education and networking. It’s a medium that found an audience out of necessity, and it’s likely to stick around.

About 92% of marketers who took our survey said organizers should keep offering virtual events even when in-person events return. And the reasons are not surprising. Most cited the ability to attend more events and to more easily integrate them into their schedules. Others cited safety during the pandemic and the lesser environmental impact of digital shows. But most often respondents cited the expense.

“While we can only send one person to a live event based on costs, we can send a handful to online workshops,” wrote one respondent.

While in-person attendance can cost a company four figures to send a single employee when you factor in ticket, travel and hotel, virtual events have largely been either free or far less expensive. The average cost for a virtual event ticket was $443 in the last six months of 2020, according to a study by event management company Bizzabo.

Martech emerges

The pivot to virtual events gave a lot of momentum to software like webinar platforms, event management and registration, video and, of course, conferencing platforms. Some platforms had so much interest that waitlists formed. On24, one of the most established players in webinars and digital events, rode that momentum to an initial public offering in February. And Google’s Meet video conferencing platform went from being an afterthought to being updated and enhanced aggressively to keep pace with Zoom.

But the surge in demand for virtual event tech hasn’t yielded any clear leaders. In fact, it highlighted the ingenuity of marketing teams in leveraging a range of different technologies to produce online events. In a recent survey of event organizers, Zoom was by far the most prevalent tech that respondents said they used or will use with 13% adoption, according to the CEIR Global Virtual Event Trends report. In the next highest percentage, 6% of respondents said they used a mix of internal resources to pull these off. Popular tools like On24, YouTube, Vimeo, and StreamYard were used or will be used by only 2% of respondents.

In fact, out of the 100 tools mentioned, 80 were used by 1% or fewer respondents.

Packing their bags

While virtual shows may have earned a place in the events world, marketers still expect to return to in-person experiences and are currently vaccinated or in the process of getting vaccinated. According to our survey, only 13 percent said they do not plan to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

When they do return, however, they expect changes to the in-person experience. Most respondents said they will want to see mandatory mask-wearing, sanitizer stations and better distancing. Others want organizers to request proof of vaccination from attendees.

A few even suggested ensuring venues have the latest air filtering systems installed to remove contagions.

All of these point to the central question for organizers: What will all of this cost? Organizers will need to weigh the impact of those expenses against the likelihood of smaller attendance numbers.

“Don’t be greedy and pile lots of people in,” one respondent said. “Reduce the capacity so that everyone still feels safe.”

Related video: A technologist’s guide to hacking virtual event production

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Can you believe we’re talking about in-person events?; Thursday’s daily brief /can-you-believe-were-talking-about-in-person-events-thursdays-daily-brief-347008 Thu, 18 Mar 2021 14:00:00 +0000 /?p=347008 Plus, Google blocked 3.1 billion ads that violated their policies last year

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Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

Good morning, Marketers, remember when virtual events weren’t really a thing?

As with much over the past year, that sure has changed. We’re not just saying that because we know first hand what it takes to pivot from an in-person conference organizer to putting on a series of virtual shows. Just look at what SXSW is doing this week, or even how The New Yorker has jumped into the fray, and it’s clear that what it means to be an event is likely forever changed.

But I’m also struck by what Gartner’s Craig Rosenberg told us yesterday during a MarTech session on digital transformation no less: “The first time you do a face-to-face event, everyone will come. We just want to see each other.”

We saw that level of hope when we last fielded our Events Participation Index survey at the start of 2021. At the time, only 20% of the marketers we surveyed said they felt it was unlikely that they would attend an in-person event in the second half of 2021. Now, with vaccinations accelerating, we want to know if confidence has grown even larger.

Please let us know by taking our latest survey here. It is only a few short questions, and your answers can help organizers understand when the right time will be to bring back an in-person conference.

Just like Craig said, we just want to see each other too.

Henry Powderly
VP, Content

Google blocked 3.1 billion ads that violated their policies last year

Google’s annual Ads Safety Report lists misinformation around COVID-19 and the political climate as well as ad fraud as top concerns last year.

COVID-19. The company banned ads related to price gouging of important pandemic-related supplies like masks and hand sanitizer. Their policies included restrictions on ads that promoted false cures and opportunistic abuse of audiences.

Political ad bans. Google also initially banned election-related ads after US polls closed on November 3 through December 10. When the insurrection at the Capitol occurred on January 6, Google again shut down all ads mentioning politics, impeachment, the inauguration, and the insurrection at the US Capitol.

Stopping fraud. To combat fraud and spam ads, Google Ads implemented their advertiser identity and business operations verifications programs. These new programs plus automated detection technology and the human review processes intercepted 968 million violating ads.

Brand safety.  Google was also sensitive to brands’ need for control over where their ads displayed as there were increases in hate speech and calls to violence online. The company says they have continued to invest in automated technologies to prevent the monetization of harmful web content.

Why we care. With constant evolution, Google’s Ads Safety Report indicates that it’s evolving its platform and AI to keep up with the ever-changing global situation to help protect both advertisers and users.

Read more here.

Did you get the SharedArrayBuffer warning in Search Console? Here’s what it means

Web-facing pages are an information security battle zone as we fight hackers who try to steal company secrets. Modern web pages often leverage resources from more than one origin (domain). This often leads to vulnerabilities. 

As pressure mounts surrounding security concerns that affect new features, webmasters have a growing list of options from browser makers, including directives for handling “cross-origin” resources to help prevent information leaks.

The SharedArrayBuffer warning. CPUs, which are vulnerable to a timing flaw by virtue of Spectre, allow access to a memory cache where SharedArrayBuffers store data. The timing flaw allows a malware-wrought page to race to access memory and all your other pages, not only those pages opened by following a link from one to another, but any page open in your browser.

Why we care. Given that failing security policies already trigger warnings for you in Lighthouse, Search Console, and with error messages in browser consoles, we need to understand details in order to offer our advice for what to do. When we’re involved in web development ourselves, then we want to have specific information prepared so that we can guide or conduct the implementation of a fix as part of our work. Information security plays an important role, as evidenced by SharedArrayBuffers, cookie policy changes, and many more such matters which are likely just out on the horizon.

Read more here.

Video SEO, page load time, and the new Google Ads summary layout

Video SEO: Ranking on Google vs. Ranking on YouTube. Once you’ve put on the finishing touches and have uploaded your video, you need to do more than just cross your fingers and hope it ranks within the search results on Google and YouTube. These video strategy tips ensure your audience is able to find all of your hard work.

How Does Page Load Time Affect Your Conversion Rate? As a consumer, you know how you respond to slow sites. You hit the back button or close the browser. As a business owner, you’re well aware of this. You’re a consumer, too, after all. So, you know page load time and conversion rate are related. But how exactly? How does it affect the bottom line?

Google Ads announces new summary view with simplified layout. The streamlined new summary configuration can help advertisers and small businesses who may be newer to Google Ads. Users can view performance in one place, improve performance with custom recommendations, create and edit campaigns more easily, and manage keywords in one place, according to the announcement.

Wikipedia launches a commercial option for big tech, but how will the community react?

The Wikimedia Foundation announced the launch of Wikimedia Enterprise, a new service designed for the sale and efficient delivery of Wikipedia’s content directly to tech companies like Google (who uses Wikipedia for rich snippets all the time).

Previously, Wikipedia has made a bi-weekly “data dump” of all the information available on the site for tech giants to sort through and upload as they see fit. “[Tech companies] all have teams dedicated to Wikipedia management—big ones,” says Lane Becker, a senior director at the foundation. These teams essentially sort through and manage the data from Wikipedia for these tech companies to consume and use as needed. The paid service the new Wikimedia Enterprise will be selling is this same data but in a format that makes it much easier for big tech to handle. With negotiations already underway, the question now is how the Wikipedia volunteers and community will react to the monetization of the website and service:

“Wikipedia is an extraordinary resource, a cumulative effort over two decades to describe the world, both its long past and its of-the-moment twists and turns. As it’s grown, it’s remained committed to its core noncommercial ideals. Big Tech companies, on the other hand, have proven themselves to be rapacious capitalists—they take as much as they can and ask for permission later. They will imitate a competitor in a heartbeat to gain control of a service they consider valuable. Wikipedia’s decision to enter into an agreement with them and begin an explicit relationship, as opposed to an unspoken one, carries the risk that the commercial world’s values—as well as its ample rewards—could come to dominate.”

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Marketers say COVID vaccines create hope for quick return of in-person events /marketers-say-covid-vaccines-create-hope-for-quick-return-of-in-person-events-345790 Mon, 01 Feb 2021 16:37:19 +0000 /?p=345790 But whether organizers can safely get conferences up and running in 2021 is another question altogether.

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Marketers networking at an in-person conference

“We can’t wait to come back,” says Michael Bartholow about attending in-person conferences. “It’s really one of the best parts of a lot of our jobs.”

But asked when he will feel safe to attend events, the marketing and education director at digital experience agency Bounteous is far less certain.

“A few marketing events in the industry are really excited to get back together in May of this year, and that seems really optimistic to me.”

With COVID-19 vaccinations underway globally and throughout the United States, marketers are indeed seeing an end to conditions that have made business travel to training seminars, conferences and trade shows unsafe. Caution is still reigning in the short term, but optimism is painting their longer-term views.

Nearly 75% of marketers we surveyed in the beginning of 2021 said it was highly unlikely they would attend in-person events in the first half of the year. But that dropped to about 20% when asked about the second half. In fact, 20% of the nearly 200 marketers polled said they felt there was a 5-in-10 chance they would feel safe to travel to events. Even more surprising, 15% of the group said it was “extremely likely.”

That confidence is likely tied to how much comfort the vaccine brings. About 78% of those we surveyed in this latest Events Participation Index said they plan to get vaccinated. Others said they were unsure and only 6% said they would not get vaccinated. Of those who said they would get vaccinated, 13% said they would feel safe immediately (assuming that means after the 2nd booster), 37% said they would feel safe after a month and 29% said they would feel safe after 6 months.

Related: No in-person events until 2nd half of 2021, marketers say

For 2021, then, it’s a question of timing. U.S. President Joe Biden last week said the federal government intended to buy 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, enough to vaccinate most of the U.S. population by summer. Based on the confidence shown in our data, it’s not unrealistic to think attendees would be ready to attend conferences in the fourth quarter if that vaccination schedule holds up.

“In-person lets you meet someone, help them out, maybe save them thousands of dollars in their Google Ads account in one day,” said Bartholow, whose company hosted in-person training events in many cities before the pandemic. “It’s harder to do all those things online, and impossible to do some of them.”

Marketing leaders Michael Bartholow (left) and Vinay Panday are both eager to see in-person events return.

Embracing the ‘big pivot’

Despite the endorsement, Bartholow still thinks 2021 is going to be an all-virtual year for events hosted by Bounteous. The company has already invested in the infrastructure and execution of virtual training sessions. And like most organizations that jumped into virtual events last year, it made changes in how they run events.

“A full eight hours online is a really tough time for everybody. And it was tough for our trainers. So we shortened it down to the five hours that are the most necessary content pieces,” said Bartholow. “We redid and updated a lot of content. And we brought in a lot of new trainers as well, because suddenly our senior folks were needed for huge client projects or rescuing somebody’s ad budget.“

Bartholow said the pivot has also created opportunities you don’t usually see with in-person events. “I miss eating ramen in Boston, but I love the idea that if we sign a new client they can still come and learn at our course. They don’t have to just accidentally be in that city.”

Among the 30% of those marketers we surveyed who said they prefer virtual events to in-person ones, many cited features like convenience, limited environmental impact, ease in asking questions and, of course, lower cost.

Upcoming Events: SMX Report; MarTech

We also found 70% of attendees said they would pay between $99 and $499 to attend virtual events. That’s a fraction of what many event organizers charged for in-person experiences, but the lower expenses tied to virtual events do give organizers a chance to make them profitable.

Vinay Panday, vice president of marketing at Alliance Environmental Group, is taking that chance.

His company operates a large chain of environmental remediation centers across California, Nevada and Arizona that handles things like wildfire remediation, meth lab cleanup and now COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting.

“Lead generation through the old trade shows was important for us,” he said. “But now with these demand generation opportunities we have, we are spending more focus on digital.”

Related: Virtual events are here to stay: and they’re a digital channel

Alliance will launch its first virtual trade show next month. Their plan is to erect a virtual exhibition of sorts highlighting their various services and then market that experience to their sizable database of existing and potential customers.

“It will have these content hotspots where they can download our PowerPoint deck, or they can see our videos and our fliers so they know more.”

Most marketers say they prefer in-person events to virtual ones.

Preparing for the new normal

Let’s be realistic. While 30% in our survey picked virtual events as their preferred experiences, that means 70% said in-person will always offer them more value. Most cited networking and person-to-person connections at in-person shows, while others pointed out how easy it is to get distracted when an event is another open browser tab in Chrome. But 2021 might not be the year when it all comes roaring back.

“I know everyone’s anxious and eager, but let everyone get vaccinated and let this thing come right down so that, honestly speaking, it becomes like the flu and is not so deadly and so severe,” said Panday, who, along with his wife, recovered from COVID-19 this year.

“It was the worst experience of my life. It’s something that I can’t explain to anyone until you go through it because there was the worry and the fear of what to expect and then there was the actual virus itself and the condition that we were going through.”

Panday said organizers should contemplate what it will require to pull off safe in-person events, especially since nearly 440,000 Americans have already died from this infectious disease.

How do you maintain social distancing in a packed expo hall? How do you manage meals so attendees feel safe enough to take off their masks to eat?

“Are you changing the HVAC system at that location?” said Panday, who knows first hand the importance through his company’s work.

And it’s not only how well organizers account for distancing and disinfection that may factor into travel decisions.

“I know my company wants to save money and be very careful, as any company would, but I don’t want to stay in a low-end hotel that doesn’t clean and sanitize and disinfect. I probably want a five-star business travel level hotel that I can guarantee has done a proper cleaning and proper disinfection.”

With so many questions to answer, opportunities are also arising for organizers to share best practices. For example, last week saw the launch of Meetings Mean Business, an initiative launched by the U.S. Travel Association that hopes to surface stories of how organizers are safely transitioning back to in-person events.

But Bartholow says attendee behaviors and expectations will have to change too.

“I expect fewer handshakes and more elbow bumps, and we’re probably not going to drop our business card in a fishbowl anymore,” he said.

“I think maybe our concept of value will have to change a little bit, too. Instead of saying it’s 80 sessions instead of 30, maybe the value is extra protocol and individual food instead of a buffet. I can see costs going in other directions and it’s up to us as marketers to explain and build the trust and demonstrate why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

 

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.

 

 

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Why we’re creating a new content experience for SMX /why-were-creating-a-new-content-experience-for-smx-345364 Wed, 13 Jan 2021 20:18:42 +0000 /?p=345364 This year we're offering topic-specific events that offer attendees guided learning paths for becoming sharper marketers.

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Let’s face it; conferences delivered predictable content experiences long before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the industry to wind down overnight. Don’t get me wrong, we miss the expo halls, networking parties and intimate dinners with colleagues, new connections and prospects too. But you always knew what you were in for with the content experience. Big-name keynotes delivering big-picture inspiration, and a menu of sessions that kept you bouncing from one corner of the convention center to the next. The best conferences won on great speakers and actionable takeaways. That was the bar.

As the world has now turned to “virtual” events, we’re seeing an incredible amount of innovation around experiences. Events are adding features like gamification, virtual cocktail hours, interactive “booths”, musical performances, speed networking and more. But all of that innovation seems to be skipping over the core content experience. What we mainly have is still a menu of sessions, available live or as recordings now. 

Sure, the best conferences still win on great speakers and actionable takeaways, but following an in-person playbook for online events falls short of leveraging what a purely digital medium offers.

As a marketing discipline, search marketing is broader than most, especially given its makeup of organic and paid focuses. So this year we will produce six SMX conferences that will explore targeted topical areas of search marketing from analytics to content strategy to conversion optimization and more. In a virtual setting, where pricey travel and lodging is no longer a barrier, marketers can attend more events than before. That change allows us to go deeper on those timely subtopics that require more attention today. But that is not all we’re changing.

SMX events in 2021 will focus on important topical concentrations.

Not sessions. Progressions

On Feb. 23, we will debut the first in the series: SMX Report. The one-day show will explore current advancements and approaches to search marketing analytics across both SEO and PPC. But unlike traditional conferences, the tracks represent complete learning journeys that will take attendees through best practices and emerging considerations that marketers need to best maximize their analytics strategies today.

With most skills, the progression from competence to excellence comes from building upon each new lesson that you learn. So that’s how we’re programming SMX Report, not through an assortment of sessions, but through a guided experience where each section builds upon the next.

In our SEO track, our experts will begin by walking attendees through assessment, setup and configuration scenarios marketers face with common analytics toolsets. From there we move on to explore reporting problems marketers may find within their data and then progress into a deeper tactical analysis of those issues across a host of platforms.

Next, we will explore how marketers go about fixing those problems, first tackling the technical SEO and then targeting the on-page, content-focused problems common to websites.

Then comes measuring the success of those initiatives. We’ll focus on tracking and setting the right KPIs and on creating reports that demonstrate that success to your clients or internal organizations. From that, we move on to enhancing those reports through tactics like digging into structured data and using rich results to generate more clicks from the SERP.

Finally, the learning path wraps up by focusing on the future of search analytics, with speakers specifically digging into new capabilities tied to Google Analytics 4.

Related: Meet Google Analytics 4 — Google’s vision for the future of analytics

In that four-part learning path, attendees will learn how to leverage resources like Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Data Studio and Core Web Vitals reports.

Over in the PPC path, we’ve put together a similar journey for attendees. The track kicks off with a focus on assessing reporting needs for your organization and adjusting that reporting for the executive, management and operational levels followed by an honest look at attribution and the challenges there.

The learning path then moves into understanding what is available in today’s data and measurement and tying those reports to real business results. 

In the next section, things get a bit more complicated as we explore reporting in an automated and increasingly cookieless world and mitigating data loss. Here our experts will dig into ways PPC marketers can leverage Google Analytics (specifically GA 4) to track performance.

Following those deep discussions on assessment and troubleshooting, the event moves into PPC marketers’ central nervous systems: Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. Here we will explore dashboards, keywords and search queries, impression share metrics, budget pacing and more. Most importantly, we will show marketers not just how to measure, but how to make reliable decisions based on your reporting.

The PPC learning path concludes by exploring the truly expert-level nuances of working within Google Ads, Microsoft Ads and other third-party tools. That includes tactics for conducting competitive analysis within the platforms and well as gleaning higher-level, operational insights from the data.

Search Engine Land editors Barry Schwartz (bottom left), George Nguyen (top left) and Carolyn Lyden (right) orchestrate the learning paths for SMX events.

Guided by Search Engine Land

Like in past SMX conferences, SMX Report will feature presentations from the best search marketers in the realm. We will be announcing many of those expert speakers soon. But SMX Report’s program was conceived and orchestrated by the journalists, experts and advisory team at Search Engine Land. Led by new Director of Search Content Carolyn Lyden, the event will feature commentary, context and analysis throughout the experience by our editorial team, which is trusted by millions of search marketers for their independent reporting and insights.

Carolyn’s team includes editors Barry Schwartz and George Nguyen, as well as longtime SMX coordinators Matt Van Wagner and Brad Geddes. The entire programming experience is managed by our Director of Events Content Kathy Bushman, whose experience in both the marketing conference and online learning spheres lends itself perfectly to our learning journey approach to SMX in 2021.

Carolyn and the team will set the stage for the entire SMX Report event as the keynote speakers. In that kick-off, they will break down how analytics has advanced and will make the case for adopting a sophisticated analytics approach for your clients, your organizations and your own progression as marketers.

Registration is now open, and our early bird pricing of $99 expires after Feb. 6. You can also add workshops to your registration for an added fee. For this show, we are presenting SEO for Developers by Detlef Johnson and a workshop on Google Tag Manager hosted by Samantha Barnes.

Like our SMX tagline says, we are obsessed with search marketing. But we’re also obsessed with educating search marketers. Join us for the journey at SMX Report and see for yourselves where that obsession has led.

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Search Engine Land, SMX name Carolyn Lyden content lead /search-engine-land-smx-name-carolyn-lyden-content-lead-345191 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 17:26:10 +0000 /?p=345191 Having an experienced practitioner leading the content and programming of Search Engine Land and SMX will only mean more high-quality and actionable content for the communities we serve.

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Third Door Media is thrilled to announce this week that seasoned search marketer Carolyn Lyden has joined the team as our director of search content. In this role, Carolyn will act both as editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land and content lead for our SMX events series.

Like previous editorial leaders for Search Engine Land and SMX, Carolyn is both endlessly passionate about search marketing and a staunch advocate for marketers as a community leader and educator. She most recently ran her own agency, Search Hermit, where she specifically set out to help women- and BIPOC-owned businesses improve their presence and performance in search. 

Prior to that, Carolyn worked as an SEO manager for call analytics software company CallRail, where she led SEO and analytics initiatives. It was through her work at CallRail, that she was named a 2018 finalist for Search Marketer of the Year in that year’s Search Engine Land Awards.

Carolyn Lyden

Carolyn is extremely knowledgeable across all verticals in search marketing, with particular expertise in content marketing, strategy, local search marketing and analytics. She is also a well-known figure in the search community through her experiences speaking in various search conferences and as the leader of the popular #SEOchat on Twitter.

Carolyn joins us coming off of a 2020 that forced many businesses to take seriously how important search is for connecting with our customers. Having an experienced practitioner leading the content and programming of Search Engine Land and SMX will only mean more high-quality and actionable content for the communities we serve at a time when they need it most.

Search marketing itself is undergoing significant changes with the engines and ad platforms integrating more artificial intelligence into their cores and with conditions like page experience and content quality having more of an effect on findability. But Carolyn is also joining us as we make our own changes in 2021. This year we will produce six virtual SMX events on specific topics like analytics, conversion optimization and the future of search. We will also continue to build on the quality of Search Engine Land and SMX by focusing on our pillars: exceptionable journalism, expert analysis and actionable best practices.

As we got to know Carolyn through the interview process, she shared one of her mantras when it comes to creating great content: Answer all possible questions. We can’t think of a better guiding principle for a search marketing leader and we are so pleased that she will lead Search Engine Land and SMX in delivering those answers to you.

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Will COVID vaccine rollout bring back in-person conferences? /will-covid-vaccine-rollout-bring-back-in-person-conferences-345048 Wed, 23 Dec 2020 19:56:16 +0000 /?p=345048 With hope for immunity on the horizon, please take our survey to help us understand how this changes your outlook for 2021.

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DEC. 14, 2020 — Nurse Sandra Lindsay is the first American to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York. (Courtesy: Northwell Health)

Last week, the United States began the historic rollout of the first approved vaccine for COVID-19, giving the country and the rest of the world some long-overdue optimism that this grim pandemic will soon come to an end.

On a simply human level, the relief in a future where family gatherings and social congregation are possible without fear of catching this deadly disease is cause for celebration. For marketers and professionals, it means one day soon we will be able to gather at offices, off-sites, sales trips, conferences and trade shows.

Several times this year we have surveyed marketers on their comfort level for attending live events absent an effective COVID-19 vaccine and each time they have told us that they would largely skip out on travel and in-person professional gatherings. But, with what is sure to be a long-term vaccine rollout having begun, we thought it was time to gauge whether those opinions have changed.

Please click here to take our short survey. It should take no longer than 5 minutes to fill out.

Businesses across the world that run conferences and trade shows for marketers have been upended by the pandemic. Through this recurring Events Participation Index survey, we hope to give those organizers actionable data to base decisions on whether to once again schedule their in-person shows.

Thank you for participating. We will publish the results in a few weeks.

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Marketers hopeful for late 2021 in-person conferences /marketers-hopeful-for-late-2021-in-person-conferences-341231 Tue, 29 Sep 2020 16:22:23 +0000 /?p=341231 But as virtual events take root in the community, attendees have clear opinions on cost and format, according to our latest Events Participation Index.

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Marketers’ already low expectations that they could safely attend in-person events this year have bottomed out, according to our latest Events Participation Index, which isn’t surprising as the planet passed a grim milestone of 1 million deaths tied to COVID-19 this week. 

But despite concerns over second and, in some cases, third waves of the virus beginning to show, many of the 350 professionals we surveyed are hopeful that they can travel and attend conferences, trade shows or more in the second half of 2021.

As expected, sentiment about attending events in 2020 hit two out of 10, a new low since we started asking the question in May. Optimism ticked up to four out of 10 when asked how likely they would attend in-person events in the first half of 2021.

Related: Register to attend MarTech

But marketers gave the prospect of attending events in the second half of 2021 a six out of 10 chance, our survey found. 

That growing optimism could be tied to the expectation that an effective and widely accepted vaccine will be available soon. There are currently several in phase three human trials, and some are already yielding an immune response in test subjects.

Absent a vaccine, nearly 68% of those we surveyed said they will only attend virtual events through the first half of 2021.

Virtual or bust

The upheavals tied to COVID-19 have caused considerable financial strain for event organizers, especially larger trade shows, but many companies have been successful in converting their events to online, or “virtual” experiences.

“I was somewhat cynical about how well that would work,” said CabinetM CEO Anita Brearton in a recent MarTech Live session. “But, you know, I think it is working, and we’ve seen examples of companies charging for virtual events and doing well with that,” she said.

In fact, 67% of marketers we surveyed said they would indeed pay to attend virtual events. Though the vast majority of those said they would pay between $99 and $499 and only a very small number said they would pay more than $499.

“It’s all about the quality,” said Brearton, but it is also about the unique experience the virtual approach affords event organizers, she said.

“This ability … to do it live and record, but then also make it available to individuals at a time that works well for them,” she said, “that’s a part of the success plan.”

That too seems to have been confirmed by our data. Only 18% of those surveyed said they prefer virtual events to follow a traditional full-day programming schedule spread over fewer days like most in-person events do. About 35% said they prefer half-day programming spread over several days. But 47% told us that they would prefer virtual events offer just a few hours of programming a day spread out over a much longer time.

We will continue to field our Events Participation Index through this pandemic to gauge how the community is feeling about business travel and events. If there are questions you think we should ask, email hpowderly@thirddoormedia.com.

Meanwhile, see Brearton’s comments below:

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We’re hiring a new content lead for Search Engine Land and SMX /were-hiring-a-new-content-lead-for-search-engine-land-and-smx-341020 Wed, 23 Sep 2020 13:09:43 +0000 /?p=341020 It's a great opportunity to lead a team of subject matter experts in creating content for online and in-person consumption that elevates, informs and inspires search marketing professionals.

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First, the bad news: Search Engine Land Editor-in-Chief Ginny Marvin is leaving Third Door Media to pursue new projects, and the entire team here could not be more thankful for everything she contributed to the company and especially the search community during her seven years here.

Ginny will be leaving behind some very big shoes to fill, so today we are launching our search for the next content leader for Search Engine Land and our companion conference series SMX — Search Marketing Expo.

This is a tremendous opportunity for someone who has the credibility and composure to lead the search community as an educator and an advocate.

Here is the job description:

Director, Search Marketing Content

Third Door Media is currently looking for a passionate expert in search engine marketing to lead the team responsible for producing Search Engine Land, the publication of record for search marketers, and Search Marketing Expo – SMX, the world’s largest search marketing conference series. 

What you will do

You’ll lead a team of subject matter experts in creating content for online and in-person consumption that elevates, informs and inspires search marketing professionals. 

Under your direction, the team will create: 

  • Features, presentations, conference sessions and workshops that are tactical and eye-opening
  • News coverage that is original and bold
  • Guides and resources with evergreen educational value
  • Newsletters that greet marketers daily with timely intelligence
  • Research and analysis that explains key trends and their ramifications

The Director works closely with the Vice President of Content in setting and implementing the overall content strategy. This role is essential in the team execution of that strategy. 

The Director will lead by example too, by producing online and in-person content for Search Engine Land and SMX. The ideal candidate juggles their own calendar while effectively managing team assignments.

What we cover

The team behind SMX and Search Engine Land is obsessed with search marketing, so our core topic areas include SEO, PPC, technical SEO, local SEO, content marketing and paid social media marketing at the SMB, agency and enterprise levels. As the need for findability among brands is expanding beyond search and social platforms, we are increasingly focusing on areas like digital commerce marketing as well.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for a subject matter expert who wants to lead the search community. Experience covering search and performance marketing for a media organization or content marketing department is table stakes. Experience in public speaking or teaching is imperative. Overall, we are looking for someone who:

  • Is endlessly passionate and curious about search and performance marketing
  • Is confident in their own voice as an expert and leader
  • Empathizes with our audience’s challenges and sees the content they produce as key to helping solve those challenges.
  • Is a strong communicator, writer and editor who holds the clarity and impact of content above matters of style.
  • Knows how to cultivate and manage a roster of expert sources
  • Has 5-7 or more years experience at a digital publication, B2B media brand, agency or content marketing shop
  • BONUS: Experience with creating content beyond text: video, data viz, infographics, etc.

What we offer

  • Competitive salary
  • Forever work-from-home

If you are interested, please email resume and work samples, including video of past speaking engagements if available, to Henry Powderly, VP of Content, at hpowderly@thirddoormedia.com

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