SES 2013I recently attended a Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Francisco, here are my top 4 take aways:

1. Always be testing.

Is your PPC ad driving valuable traffic to your website? Is the callout on your landing page resulting in a goal conversion? Does it work better to place that button on the left, right or middle of the page? Considering the wealth of tools available to conduct A/B and multivariate testing, now’s the time to start testing out your hypotheses and improving your digital presence.

2. The mobile takeover is coming sooner than you think.

Projections vary, but the consensus is this: mobile search and web browsing will eclipse web traffic from desktop computers within the next few years. Google reps at SES San Francisco drove the point home that mobile will take over sooner than expected. So if your website is not optimized for mobile users, get the wheels in motion for that project ASAP. Site traffic lost is business lost. Don’t let your competitors gain the mobile advantage.

Bonus: Watch Matt Cutts from Google discuss the importance of page speed for mobile sites: Is page speed a more important factor for mobile sites?

3. Blogs: You should have one.

Companies who have a blog on their website generated on average 68% more leads than companies without a blog (Hubspot). Because blogs can better target long-tail search queries, this targeted traffic to your site is generally the most qualified and valuable. Still not convinced? Sites with blogs also boast 55% more visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages than sites without blogs.

4. It is time to banish harmful backlinks.

In the old days of SEO, it was common practice to game PageRank by amassing huge quantities of backlinks, regardless of their value. The result? Huge quantities of spammy, worthless links. Search engines got wise and will ding your site’s search ranking for this type of negative association. The fix? Link remediation. After identifying a bad link, find the webmaster’s contact info and be polite but persistent in asking for the removal of that link. Document your attempts, and if nothing else works, you can disavow the link or domain, and submit a reconsideration request to Google.

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