2016 Search Summit Topic Overviews

Full agendas coming soon.We have spent the proceeding months since SMX Sydney 2015 in research and development mode for the 2016 conference.

We have spent the proceeding months since SMX Sydney 2015 in research and development mode for the 2016 conference.

Building a search engine marketing conference agenda is a painstaking process, knowing what content is going to fit months in advance is always a difficult problem, but one we have faced for over nine years.

Leading into our tenth year of programming events, we feel pretty confident that the topics we have chosen for Search Marketing Summit in 2016 are pretty cool.

The traditional SEO and PPC sessions that we have always had at our event will remain as they are the mainstay of an event in this discipline; our two-morning keynotes will remain as will our Site Clinic at the end of Day Two.

As part of our process to implement a bit of change in 2016 we are adding in a few new sessions designed to give search marketers a more rounded out experience, we now have dedicated sessions on Content Marketing. We have added a new group of sessions called "Next Generation Search", with content targeting around the bleeding edge topics that you should be thinking in the future.

Last, but by no means least, is a new group of what we are calling "Big Brand Round Tables". These sessions are dedicated to hearing from real life examples from "Big Brands" based on how they are handling SEO, Content, Social, PPC and other online marketing related challenges.

Here's an overview of all the topics we have in so far:

Content Sessions

How Can Analytics Inform Better Content?
More content is being created every day, and myriad technology options make it easier than ever before to efficiently distribute that content to broad audiences. Despite this increase in our means of content delivery, latest research shows that a growing majority of professional marketing content is failing to have an impact. This presentation will outline why marketers have become very good at distributing content, but not very good at creating content that is worth distributing.

In this session you'll learn...

  • Best practices for overhauling ineffective content strategies
  • Why brand-generated content is seeing the lowest engagement rates now than in the past 24 months
  • How to use leading metrics to predict the ROI of your content in real time

Writing the "Right" Content: Highly Searchable, Keyword-Driven and Relevant Content
Go back 3 years and every SEO was Panda & Penguin panicked, concerned with penalties from thin content and anchor-text rich links. Both link and content practices evolved to address, with a focus on quality, usability and the necessity of understanding user intent and search query context. With this evolution, Google's Hummingbird update, voice search and user behaviour, the very definition of a 'keyword' itself has changed, together with the strategy, research and tactics needed to create content that will connect – and answer – your audience's questions.

Key takeaways from this session include:

  • Research methodologies to define and understand user intent
  • Understand how user context plays into a content tactics
  • Tips & tools to help find topics and questions that align with your user's needs
  • Techniques for fixing & future-proofing your content through an understanding of 'quality' signals
  • How to recognise the content that will satisfy both your users and search engine demands.

Content & Social: A Match Made in Digital Heaven
The digital gods have spoken – content and social were destined to take the internet by storm with their undeniable chemistry. While they are two separate entities, their union does have a powerful effect on reinforcing brand messaging and engaging consumers. This session will help you:

  • Create content that is valuable and shareable
  • Learn how to use social platforms to complement your content strategy
  •  Decide the best social channels to distribute content

How to Achieve Mind-Blowing Content Marketing ROI
Raising brand awareness, building trust, establishing credibility, and ultimately driving revenue; that's the one-two punch of social media and content marketing. If you are not pairing these two together then you are simply missing opportunities for your business. This session will show you how to create a world class strategy for combining these social and content marketing to deliver real results. From real world examples to real time results, get ready for a cornucopia of actionable takeaways you can start implementing immediately.

Next Gen Sessions

Winning with Wearables: Enhancing Customer Experience with New Insights
Smart devices have gone from being in your pocket or purse to resting on your face, wrist and other body parts. With the evolution of smart devices quickly moving toward becoming part of a customer's DNA, the companies winning at the wearables game are delivering highly personalised and relevant experiences to their users.

Attend this session and hear about:

  • Opportunities and challenges in wearable technology
  • Key trends driving the form, function and fashion of wearables
  • Areas of innovation to focus your efforts

Keywords are Dead: The Zombie Search Apocalypse
Google Hummingbird, A.I. and machine learning have decapitated 'head term' keywords. Queries rule. SEO relied on skeletal remains of searcher's brains. Now, conversion and mobility require a meaty grasp of searcher's motivation, location and appetites. Seize new opportunities that emerge when Google augments their apprehension of searcher queries. Don't be a Zombie. Be agile and act.

UX + SEO = Experience Optimisation (XO)
This session will discuss how UX and SEO can work together to deliver aligned approaches that meet both conversion and SEO goals. Specifically, you'll hear UX-SEO approaches to content strategy, information architecture, copywriting, mobile design, and landing page testing. This session is best suited for user experience and interaction designers, product managers, content strategists, and SEO professionals. Attendees will walk away with an understanding of common UX and SEO challenges, as well as the methodologies needed to successfully overcome these challenges and turn them into opportunities.

Via practices, pointers and samples, learn how to:

  • Get inside searcher's skulls: say what they want to hear
  • Shift your content strategies to full sentences and answers
  • Pry open competitive data: gain new, tested opportunities

Big Brand Round Tables

Brands Talk SEO
Big companies and brands have big advantages - big budgets, staffs and data resources, not to mention brand recognition by the search engines. But big brands also have big challenges, like coordinating ownership of keywords, content and important assets with other internal marketing groups. Smaller companies may face unique challenges as well, and often rely on agility to create opportunities leveraging SEO with social media, email marketing and other disciplines.

In this session, you'll hear success stories from marketers who've managed SEO campaigns for brands, both large and small.

Brands Talk SEM
Brands face unique challenges when it comes to paid search, such as:
maintaining brand image within restrictive headline and description requirements

  • Ensuring that testing takes into account other branding efforts
  • Following trademark guidelines
  • Being vigilant about search arbitrage from affiliates, resellers and comparison shopping engines
  • Projecting scale compared to smaller advertisers

...The list goes on and on.

Empowering Your Organisation With A Search Culture
How do you really drive performance in huge companies through search marketing? Challenges like siloed departments, internal politics, slow moving processes, lack of development resources and huge, complex websites are a given. But there are ways to move the needle - sometimes massively - with search marketing in the enterprise.

This session is all about how to build an effective team through integrated culture. Whether your organisation is fully in-house, agency supported, or multi-agency our panellists will explore the common themes to focus on and implement.

SEO Sessions

Link Building, Penguin, Digital Assets, Author's, Tools, and More
In this "Must Attend" session you will hear unfiltered insights into some of the most talked about topics in the SEO space. This session will offer unique perspective into dealing with the complex issues surrounding penalty related issues. It will also dive into techniques and strategies for developing several different types of content that can help websites earn natural back links and citations. Find out how, with the right digital assets, linkable content and promotional strategies, websites of all kinds can achieve links and visibility that will withstand the tests of time and algorithmic changes. The session will also touch on Authorship, AuthorRank, Panda, other Google Updates, along with SEO and SMM Tools. Takeaways:

Learn how to build links, without the worry of Google updates

  • Get actionable insights for dealing with the impact of Google Penguin Updates and Manual Penalties
  • Tips and recommendations for creating Disavow documents, and submitting Reconsideration requests
  • Discover new ways to leverage and optimise your digital assets to reap the greatest benefits

SEO Diagnostics for the Skilled Search Mechanic

  • Which areas of analytics are powerful eye-openers for portraying SEO issues
  • Which tools work the best for diagnosing SEO issues quickly
  • What causes common SEO issues and how to remedy them
  • How to create effective reporting to help monitor performance

Exploring The New World Of Entity Search
Search engines continue to develop databases of knowledge around entity-based concepts, e.g. people, places and things. Frequently using content retrieved from publisher sites, the engines are developing SERPs with "direct answers", carousels, local and retail "packs", and Knowledge Graph Boxes. Are these search features threats to publishers, or an SEO opportunity? In this session, you'll learn advanced tactics for using structured data and related markup to gain greater visibility outside of standard web search. We'll also explore ways to take advantage of opportunities in entity based search, including mobile and conversational (voice) search.

Getting Mobile Friendly To Survive The Next Mobilegeddon
Google said that its mobile-friendly algorithm impacted more sites than their Panda or Penguin algorithms. And though mobile SEO has much in common with traditional SEO, other factors weigh significantly in mobile search algorithms. For example, how important is the mobile user experience? Is your site responding properly to tablets vs. phones or even different types of phones? What about load time, link placement, http status codes, or the use of rich content? To be truly effective at mobile SEO, you need to pay close attention to these and other factors, and this session shows you how.

The Growth Of Direct Answers: How Should SEOs React?
Over the past year, Google and Bing have greatly increased the frequency of showing answers to search queries on SERPs. Need to reset your iPhone? No need to click away from the search results. The answer is right there on Google or Bing. In this session we'll look at how the search engines are developing databases of knowledge, often drawn from publisher websites. You'll learn whether "direct answers" are a threat to publishers, or perhaps an opportunity.

Eye Tracking Update: How Users View & Interact With Contemporary Google Search Results
Back in 2005, a ground breaking eye-tracking study found that people searched in a distinctive "triangle" pattern on Google search result pages. Since then, Google has evolved, adding universal and knowledge graph results, instant answers and other types of information. This session presents findings from a recent eye-tracking study, illuminating increasingly sophisticated searcher behaviour, and the best SEO practices to capture searcher eyeballs.

Content, Keyword Research & The Art Of Audience Engagement
Truly effective keyword research goes beyond the numbers game of targeting frequently searched terms. Brilliant keyword research attempts to get into the minds of prospects and customers, uncovering needs and desires, yielding insights that can help you create more meaningful, compelling content. Attend this session and learn how this approach to keyword research can lead to higher levels of audience engagement AND boost search rankings.

Dark Search, Dark Social & Everything In-Between
Wondering why your traffic dropped or increased but couldn't figure out why? We will talk about how shifts in dark search, direct, social and mobile traffic have changed and how to adjust and interpret our new normal.

What You Need To Know About Enterprise Link Building
Enterprise websites have unique needs that differentiate them from other websites. The size, brand equity, reputation, and integration among other things. In this session you’ll hear what Link Building looks like for enterprise websites. Learn how Scalability, Brand Assimilation, Integration, High Quality Links, and ROI all make a successful Enterprise Link Building project.

  • How is an enterprise website different from all other websites?
  • What are the needs of a enterprise link building project?
  • How can I get the kinds of links that will make a difference for my enterprise website?

Google Now, Microsoft Cortana & The Predictive Search World
With Google Now, Google is seeking out and presenting answers to people before they even think to search for them. This presentation takes you on a tour of how Google Now has grown, the types of answers it offers and opportunities and issues for search marketers to consider, as both Google and Microsoft's Cortana service continue to develop predictive search.

How Apple's Changing Up Search: From Siri To Safari To Spotlight
The days of doing a search on an Apple product and being sent to Google are long gone. Siri routes people to many search resources, with Bing as the final backup. The new Spotlight feature on the Mac works similarly. Safari still uses Google as a default, but suggestions might detour searches away from it.
Attend this session to learn how search has radically changed in Apple products, and what it means for marketers.

PPC Sessions

Searching For Shoppers: How To Succeed With Feed-Based Product Campaigns
As Google Product Listing ads and Bing Product ads continue to gain click share against text ads, merchants must continually evolve their strategies to stay ahead of the competition. Panelists will show you how to evaluate and optimise your feeds and bidding strategies to drive more sales at target CPAs and appear within regular Google searches, whenever Google believes there's a shopping match.

Winning At Mobile PPC (Beyond mCommerce)
This won't be another "why you have to have a mobile strategy" discussion. With over half of searches now happening on mobile devices, that's now a given. But that doesn't mean mobile conversions are the only benchmark of success.

In this session, we'll look at how the search engines are evolving to meet the needs of mobile users and discuss ways advertisers can tailor their campaigns to take advantage of mobile behaviours to drive e-commerce, in-store commerce, phone calls, and awareness. We'll also discuss how to effectively measure mobile performance and optimise mobile bids based on your marketing goals.

Attribution Beyond The Last Click
Giving all the credit to the last click of a conversion is like saying the scorer is solely responsible for the goal. Attribution is much more accurate when factors such as in-store visits, phone calls, and offline conversion uploads are taken into account.
In this session, panelists examine various attribution metrics and show you which are best for the most important things you need to measure in understanding conversions.

Hunting Big PPC Campaign Optimisations For Massive ROI Increases
Most PPC campaign results can be tweaked to produce increases in the 2%-5% range. That's great, but what if your boss or client is demanding more significant improvements? This session will take a deep dive into new game-changing weapons of mass ROI, including:

  • mobile call-only campaigns
  • new email targeting capabilities in Google AdWords
  • defining custom affinity audiences specific to your business

...and more.

Getting Creative With Ad Copy & Testing
Creating successful ads use to be as simple as writing a great headline and two lines of text. Now with so many extensions, device adaptations, dynamic text and other components, creating ads can seem more like an engineering challenge than creative one. In this session, we'll show you how to develop great ads that are equal parts creative genius and technical savvy, and proving it through testing.

How Dynamic Ads Can Supercharge Your SEM Campaigns
You're familiar with keyword-based ads. Dynamic search ads are different - rather than using keywords, they automatically show your ad based on the content of your website. But that's not all. Dynamic ads can use real time data, can be refined with ad customisers, can help tightly focus your remarketing efforts and more. This session examines how to create, use and launch dynamic ads to supercharge your search advertising campaigns.

Optimising Paid Search Automation For Click-To-Call
So you use Marin, Kenshoo, Doubleclick or IgnitionOne and do some or all of your paid search efforts yield phone calls? If so, this session is for you. Experts will show you how to optimise for phone calls through best practices and demos.

Battle Of The Match Types
Let the debate begin! Should you break out your match types into separate ad groups or even campaigns? What's to gain (or lose) by separating your ad groups, versus combining keyword match types in the same group? Are there specific use cases for each option?
Our experts make their cases and offer rebuttals until the match type issue is resolved.

Taking Retargeting To The Next Level
Vast improvements in audience segmentation and message targeting has been enabled by new techniques and data accessibility through Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. This ability to offer personalised ad experiences significantly impacts conversion rates and ROI. In this session, you'll learn innovative tactics for segmenting audiences and tailoring ad campaigns that speak to prospective customers at a seemingly one-to-one level.

Posted in Agenda.