Pubcon 2019 has brought us to the Las Vegas Strip for their annual social media and search engine optimization conference. The multi-track event and expo were initially founded as a fun conference in a London pub, but today stands as the search marketing event of the year. With keynote presentations from Guy Kawasaki, tech guru, Gary Illyes, Google, Fabrice Canel, Bing, and Michelle Robbins, BetaGirl, 2019 has us geeking out. Check out our favorite sessions and key takeaways below.

One of our early favorites was the lead generation session with Greg Jarboe and Michelle Morgan. We pulled some interesting factoids out of this presentation that not only apply to search but digital marketing as a whole. First, lead generation requires us to mix a bit of art and data to be successful and focusing on in-channel conversions may or may not lead to additional revenue. Testing new strategies and discovering different avenues to generate cost-effective leads is important. From there, we can leverage these new opportunities to help close sales. Additionally, finding a balance between quality vs. quantity in lead gen to keep CPA low can be coupled with collaboration between you and your sales team to optimize ROI. The sales data you can pull out can help you better understand and recognize long-term sales opportunities.

Our takeaway: Jarboe and Morgan didn’t reinvent the wheel with their presentation, but instead provided really good real-life examples that every organization can easily implement. We always want to understand more from our data and pairing that with marketing strategies, sales strategies and additional business activities aids in creating truly impactful campaigns, we’ve tried this and seen some astonishing results with our clients. Their second point about partnering with sales is also interesting as we also believe in the power of salespeople. These are the faces of your company and they are having real-time conversations with your customers every day. They know what customers like, don’t like and say about your products and brands. Leveraging this intel can have incredible effects on your digital strategies in terms of content plays, SEO, PPC, etc., and long-term business success.  

On Day One, Marie Haynes and Lily Ray gave a brilliant presentation on E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Unfortunately, 2019 has been the year of Google algorithm updates that have been made to counteract the rise in misinformation or "fake news", extremist behavior, election-influencing, misinformation in medicine and misinformation in creating public health epidemics. Because of these trends, it’s crucial to know what Google is asking for, and the implications of the changes. The key takeaways from EAT are that it is not relevant to every site, it’s not a confirmed ranking factor, it’s not a replacement for technical SEO and it’s not a quick fix.

Our takeaway: So, what does EAT mean for your business? Google’s algorithm updates don’t have huge implications across all sites, rather they tend to greatly affect YMYL sites (Your Money Your Life), which fall into categories of medical, legal, financial, news and political sites. Because Google has played major roles in curbing information in these categories, it is here that we need to pay special attention when new updates and algorithm changes are rolled out. Google has not specifically mentioned that it uses EAT as a guide for their updates, but it references it enough and has gotten enough criticism in 2019 that it can safely be assumed expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are playing factors in YMYL rankings. If you’re a YMYL site, building expert site content founded in factual information can help improve your site authority in the long run. It’s also important to tout your expertise by showcasing your authors and experts using their bios. This has shown to outrank those that do not.

Finally, Arsen Rabunovich, Rob woods, and Bill Hartzer walked us through their tips and strategies for auditing client websites. Together, this trio offered some very interesting insight on how to utilize tools that we currently use in audits in new ways.

Our takeaway: It was fascinating to see how old tools can be used in different ways to elevate your look into existing data. Specifically, things like forensic analysis into traffic drops, and new strategies for gathering, analyzing and presenting audit findings to clients really jumped out at us. While clients have some good ways of doing things, we try to look for areas of improvement and areas of opportunity to achieve PPC and SEO goals. This session gave us some good tools to go back and use in future audits with clients that we can’t wait to try.

So far, Pubcon has elevated its sessions to account for all of the Google updates, how to fully utilize Bing and the future for all things digital marketing. It’s only Day Two, but we have a feeling we’re going to walk away with a few more takeaways that we’ll be implementing at Acumium. Feel free to drop us a line if you’re at PubCon or are interested in learning more about what we’ve seen this week.