search love boston 2018 by richard antille

Conference Review: SearchLove Boston 2018

Distilled is an online marketing agency with locations in London, New York, and Seattle. Each year, Distilled hosts a conference called SearchLove where leading industry experts come to speak on subjects ranging from analytics, paid advertising and technical SEO, to social media, case studies, and the newest technologies available to digital marketers. I was able to attend this year’s conference in Boston Massachusetts and I wanted to share a little about the trip and what I learned.

I arrived in Boston late afternoon on June 6th, and was ready first thing in the morning when the 2-day conference got started. Breakfast first and then check in, everyone was eagerly awaiting the moment when the speakers stepped on stage to present their topics.

Attending such a conference is inspiring in many ways. You get to take away actionable ideas, when put into practice help perfect your own knowledge of digital marketing. You also get to meet new people - your peers in the industry - and discuss new ideas, different approaches, and make some friends along the way.

Here is a rundown of some of the topics I found the most applicable to our needs at Marathon Consulting.

Scaling JSON-LD using Google Tag Manager by Ruth Burr Reedy

Although the technical aspect of JSON-LD eludes me, I am quite familiar with Google Tag Manager (GTM). So learning about a new implementation technique for structured data was very interesting, and I will be able to sit down with some of our developers to discuss how it can improve our process, and management of data we can track and analyze.

Newsjacking by Ryan Charles

Newsjacking, or Newsauging, is a great technique used to spread awareness of a brand by hijacking current news to your advantage (in a marketing sense). It is far from easy, or everyone would do it and it would lose its benefits. Newsjacking requires you to profile your brand through current news stories by utilizing them in a sense that support your mission, goals, and safeguard your reputation. Done wrong, it can badly tarnish a reputation, but done right, it will amplify a brand and reach a wider audience.

Javascript for SEO by Bartosz Góralewicz

The technicality of this topic was over my head as I am not a JavaScript developer, but the implication of certain errors in how you code, or which package you use to code, can definitely impact how well a website will be seen, indexed, and ranked by search engines. This was very interesting to me because we always want a website to be fully crawlable and indexable. While picking up some great tips, I also know that there is much research that still needs to be done on the subject before we can perfect our process when developing websites.

Local SEO by Greg Gifford

This presentation was straightforward and to the point. Local SEO is a very important topic for many of our clients, and hit home with me. I gathered many insightful ideas on how to better optimize a website, and the steps to take to ensure that a local business has increased visibility. Local SEO is moving fast, and it was refreshing to hear this talk from such a passionate speaker.

The Marketers’ Guide to Performance Optimization by Emily Grossman

There seems to be a lot of discussion around optimizing for performance when running a website, or should I say an online presence. This is due to many factors like search engines technological advancements, user experience, responsiveness, and overall engagement. Optimizing your online presence to make it more appealing, better ranking, and let’s not forget, converting at a higher rate, adds up to a great experience that will see repeat visits. While I need to further my research, I was able to gather some great and very applicable ideas.

From Visual Search to New Realities by Jes Scholz

Technology is a blast. It opens the door to so much more, pushes people to go beyond the standards, and bring new experiences to the user. After all, everything we do is about creating great experiences for our human visitors. This topic was extremely interesting as it demonstrated how certain technologies like augmented reality can be used in the context of user experience.

There were many more topics covered, some that were very interesting but not applicable for the near future. That aside, I still gained valuable insight for consideration and research one day.

After two full days of presentations, interactions, and networking, I came back home with many great insights and ideas that will be applied on a case-per-case basis to improve our own approach, and services to our clients.

I can’t wait for the next conference!

Richard Antille

Richard Antille is a Senior Digital Marketing Strategist at Marathon Consulting since 2014. He is in charge of developing the service offering, managing clients’ projects and supporting business development. He is a Google AdWords Certified partner and is Bing Ads Accredited. He develops strategies for clients’ projects on a weekly basis and loves putting together strong campaigns driving the bottom-line.

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