Executive Summary – PR News’ Google Conference Feb. 11, 2015

Executive Summary

PR News Google Conference

February 11th, 2015 — The Hyatt Regency, San Francisco

Creating Content that Shines on Google

Allan Gungormez, AVP of Digital Marketing, Transamerica

  • From an SEO point of view, a URL structure should be straightforward, meaningful and well crafted.
  • Make your URLs pretty and easy to follow: www.website.com/topic-name. This format should contain keywords and is much more user friendly.
  • Remember that Google recommends using hyphens instead of underscores in URL names because Google reads underscores as one whole word.
  • Create an XML sitemap: This is a list of your site’s URLs that you then submit to search engines. This will help search engines find your site’s pages and serves as a reference when choosing preferred URLs on your site.
  • It is important to be aware of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms.
  • Panda is a ranking factor designed to identify low quality pages, while providing better rankings for high quality sites.
  • Penguin is designed to target webspam. It decreases rankings for sites that violate Google’s Quality Guidelines, which include keyword stuffing, over optimization and unusual linking patterns.
  • After you’ve created quality content, the next step is to do good keyword research. Be sure to include the actual search terms people are using so you can create content that “answers” their search query.
  • Quality content should produce meaningful interactions with users. Search engines look at bounce rate, time on site and social signals to determine the value of content.

Sally Falkow, Digital PR and Social Media Strategist; Author, “SMART News: How to Write Content for the Digital Age,” Merits Media.

  • Keep in mind that Google’s mission is to organize the data on the web in a way that gives users the most relevant and useful results.
  • For your content to stand out it has to have unique value.
  • Find aspects of your expertise and information that no one else has published yet.
  • Sometimes the content is available elsewhere on the Web, but approaching it with an engaging style can give it unique value.
  • You have to know your audience. Discover what they like and dislike, what their intent is and what their problems are.
  • Go a step further and see what types of content they respond to and share, and where there are gaps in the information their looking for — gaps that you can fill with your content.

How to Use SEO to Improve Google Search Ranking

Dave Lloyd, Senior Manager of Global Search Marketing, Adobe

  • Search engines only crawl text and links on webpages searching for relevance, importance and trust.
  • Stay up to date on Google’s updates to its search algorithm.
  • Sites that don’t stay current with mobile recommendations will be penalized.
  • In order to optimize your content you have to identify keywords, organize the content by a desired message and test your strategies.
  • Customer intent-driven content improves your digital shelf space, conversions and customer retention.
  • Deliver results by focusing on customers and collaboration that is comprehensive, strategic and integrated.

Evan Prokop, Digital Marketing Manager, TopRank Online Marketing

  • Use Google Webmaster Tools to determine the findability of your content.
  • Determine your site’s accessibility by looking at your page speed, finding dead links or pages, finding service errors and duplicate content.
  • Optimize your site by developing a keyword strategy, creating relevant content and having strong messaging.
  • You can’t do everything, so prioritize your actions that will result in the highest impact.
  • The best keywords aren’t what you use; they are what your customers use.
  • Always optimize for people first, search engines second.

AdWords: Making Advertising on Google Work for Your Brand

Christopher Penn, Vice President, Marketing Technologies, SHIFT Communications & Julia Hamilton Trost, Principal Account Manager, Google

  • Use AdWords to amplify or take control of your message. To succeed you have to be there, be relevant and be optimized.
  • In order to have a great AdWords campaign it must offer a solution to a customer and be creative.
  • Always keep a close eye on measuring business goals, conversations and diagnostic metrics.

Luncheon Keynote Presentation: Sean Gardner

Sean Gardener, Author, “The Road to Social Media Success”

  • Never forget about gratitude postings on social media. They say more than just “thank you,” they establish relationships and strengthen connections.
  • Always use the language of empowerment, specifically “bridge words,” like we, us, our, collaborate, assist and help.
  • Don’t be afraid to create your own best practices, sometimes it pays to go against conventional wisdom like ignoring people with low numbers on social media.
  • Cross posting will drive engagement across social media by creating value on multiple platforms and reaching individuals or groups on one platform and making them aware of your presence on another.
  • Remember that everyone is an influencer in his or her own way. Every conversation is important.
  • Support your friends and expand your reach by supporting people based on content not on status and looking at “PR” as “people and relationships.”

How to Make Google Analytics Work for Your Brand

Kevin Dando, Senior Director, Digital Marketing & Communications, PBS

  • Google’s Real Time Monitoring service within the Google Analytics platform allows you to see what’s happening on your site right now.
  • With this platform you are able to learn through ongoing use when a spike in engagement happens that you should be exploiting, and perhaps more importantly, when it’s not happening.
  • It will show you which sites really drive traffic, which can help with influencer outreach for specific sites.
  • Use Alerts in Real Time Monitoring to see when your traffic targets have been reached.
  • Real Time Monitoring will help you know which social channels are driving traffic where.
  • Utilizing this service will help in differentiating behaviors of users by social platform.

Adam Singer, Analytics Advocate, Google

  • Presentation will not be available for viewing or download.

Harnessing the power of Visual Storytelling on YouTube

Anastasia Khoo, Director of Marketing, Human Rights Campaign

  • Break news with YouTube over broadcast outlets. By creating newsworthy, content you can drive a diverse array of users to your content through links and social embeds to broaden your reach.
  • Keep relevant and descriptive keywords in your video titles.
  • Add links in the video description, such as subscribe, playlists and related video links.
  • Always make good use of tags, both unique keywords for specific videos, as well as standard keywords that can be applied across all videos in your channel.
  • A video is best optimized for Google search when it is in multiple locations. Distribute your videos across your website, YouTube channel and embed them to Facebook and other social media.

Joie Healy, Senior Manager of Social Media Communications, Cisco

  • Building a mini-newsroom can help sourcing and developing low-cost content.
  • Experiment with the new YouTube GIF-Maker service to leverage a different way to engage your audience.
  • Create a complete visually appealing homepage by using a branded banner and biography.
  • YouTube isn’t the place for long-form content; keep it short and engaging.
  • Amplify the impact of your videos across multiple social channels.
  • Use video descriptions to drive traffic back to key assets like your website.
  • Use YouTube analytics to measure your success and optimize your content in the future.
  • Try using YouTube video ads to target your audience by gender, age, interests and location.

Trends, Webmaster Tools, Google+, Hangouts and Hidden Gems: Additional Google Tools to Share Your Message and Strengthen Your Brand

Barry Reicherter, Partner, Digital Insights, Finn Partners

  • Let data inform your drafts, not the other way around.
  • You get great content ideas from great insights into your audience.
  • Find out more about your voice by using Google Trends and AdWords to discover your digital reach.
  • An audience insight is what you know about the target’s mindset and motivations today that will help you change his or her attitudes or behaviors tomorrow.
  • Striving for great audience insights will provide a strategic foundation and filter for your campaign tactics.
  • Great insights will also help your content to become more audience-centric by discovering your audience’s emotional and rational motivations, which will help you resolve tension and solve problems for your audience.

Christopher Penn, Vice President, Marketing Technologies, SHIFT Communications

  • Utilize Google Databoard to access insights from Google’s research studies that are relevant to your audience and present them in visually appealing ways.
  • Google Webmaster Tools allow you to answer key questions about the way your content is engaged with online.
  • By looking at which queries directed to your content, you can see if those searches are accurately describing your brand.
  • You can determine which queries you receive the most clicks for and which searches you get 100 percent of the clicks for.
  • It is important to take a look at where Google positions your content for search queries to get an idea of what you’re doing well and where you need improvement.

Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social Media, BusinessWire

  • Google+ is comprehensive platform that allows you to find influencers, build communities, amplify your content and develop compelling visual storytelling.
  • When building a Google+ page remember to build visually and use multimedia.
  • To get the most out of Google+ you have to find and make friends, share relevant posts, join or create groups, be consistent and ask questions.
  • Use Google Hangouts as a way to broadcast press conferences, product discussions, hosted giveaways, company Q&As and more!