This year’s Search Marketing Expo: Advanced in Seattle, thoughtful and technical search engine optimization proved more important than ever. To get the scoop on the latest happenings in the SEO world, The Net Impact sent two of our web marketing experts to attend SMX Advanced. Lauren and Jamie shared their major takeaways during last week’s live TXCHANGE Webcast. Here are some of their key findings:

The Net Impact SMX Advanced

Lauren and Jamie joined other high-end SEO strategists in Seattle.

Be Authentic: Don’t try to be great, just BE great!

Good SEO starts with a good website. Instead of turning to highly technical SEO tactics, sometimes it’s best to step back and make sure your website works for both users and search engines. Usability flaws in structure, navigation, or content can have severe effects on search engine rankings.

“Faster Sites Win”

Jonathan Colman of REI emphasized website loading speed in his presentation. The data proves site speeds have a major impact on usability and conversions. 40% of customers abandon a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, and for every second of load time site conversions decrease 7%. On top of that, page load speed is an important part of Google’s Ranking algorithm.

Google’s Crackdown on Unnatural Linking

Both Panda and Penguin, Google’s most recent search ranking algorithm updates, give harsh penalties to sites demonstrating “unnatural linking” patterns. The key is not to just appear to have natural linking, but to actually obtain natural, quality links. No quick fix for this one. However if webmasters make an earnest, good-faith effort to remove the unnatural links, Google allows site resubmissions to remove the restrictive penalties.

For more information from SMX Advanced 2012, including help links and the full video from our presentation, head to our TXCHANGE Event Page.

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