SEJ Summit Chicago 2016 Wrap Up

I recently attended SEJ Summit Chicago this past Thursday and I have to admit, it was a pretty good conference for it being a small one. I personally liked it better than SES Chicago. It’s always great to hear from others in the industry and their experiences and I walked away with some great insights and tips on improving my SEO and content efforts in 2016 and beyond.

SEJ Summit Chicago

There were some great speakers including Gary IIIyes from Google, Home Depot, Searchmetrics and more. Instead of getting into the nuances of my trip and what I heard, I thought I’d include a recap and link of some of the top presentations below. Enjoy!

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project – Gary IIIyes from @Google

What is it?

  • Mobile only pages served faster (>1 sec. vs. avg. 22 sec. mobile load time)
    • How?
      • Less JavaScript
      • Image compression
      • Caching (CDN)

AMP Building Blocks:

  • HTML 5
  • JavaScript
  • CSS3
  • Global proxy cache

AMP Features:

  • Smart content prioritization
  • Asynch load
  • Responsive design

AMP Caveats:

  • Limited by design
  • No custom JavaScript
  • No scrolling elements
  • Max 50k stylesheet (CSS)
  • If your site isn’t mobile friendly, strongly consider taking advantage of AMP
  • More info:
Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project – Gary IIIyes from @Google #sejsummitchicago @sejournal Click To Tweet

SEO Tuneup – Carolyn Shelby @tronc

  • Keep things simple
  • Efficient delivery is the key to speed
  • Speed is the goal

Presentation Link:


Big Brands & Reddit – Brent Csutoras @pixelroad

Why Reddit?

  • Growing audience that’s continuously trended upwards
  • Different type of audience vs. FB, etc. (information seekers)
  • 62% of audience is US
  • Big brands are seeing success from it (Ex: Transamerica, Nissan)

Presentation Link:

Big Brands & Reddit – Brent Csutoras @pixelroad #sejsummitchicago @sejournal Click To Tweet

Surviving the SEO Plateau – Jordan Koene @Searchmetrics

Ignite Your Content

  • Remove “dead” content

Expand Your Reach

  • Update & expand top of funnel content by expanding diversity of content (Good example: Etsy)
  • Build more “search moments” where people can learn more about your content (think: micro-moments)

Recycle Good SEO Habits

  • Do more of what works

Presentation Link:

Surviving the SEO Plateau – Jordan Koene @Searchmetrics #sejsummitchicago @sejournal Click To Tweet

Psychology of Marketing – Erin Everhart (Media Lead @HomeDepot)

  • Marketing is no longer linear
    • Consider the multiple touchpoints people use before converting
  • Appeal to emotion over logic
    • Example: campaign with people uploading their Ben & Jerry’s “ice cream face”
    • Fear marketing – Ex: “If you don’t buy now, you’ll miss out”, “your neighbors have a better lawn”, etc.
    • Peer marketing/reviews
  • Properly market SEO to stakeholders
    • Don’t bog people down with data
    • Get people to buy in by telling them what’s in it for them

Presentation Link:

Psychology of Marketing - Erin Everhart (Media Lead @HomeDepot) #sejsummitchicago @sejournal Click To Tweet

Lessons from the Newsroom – Amy Vernon @TheDailyDot

  • Give people what they need AND what they want
  • Be curious
  • Respect your audience
    • If they get mad or disagree with you:
      • Never yell at them
      • Ask them questions
      • Try and understand them
      • Sometimes you can’t win, so do as much as you can and move on

Presentation Link:

Lessons from the Newsroom – Amy Vernon @TheDailyDot #sejsummitchicago @sejournal Click To Tweet

Machine Learning – Ryan Jones from @wtfseo

  • Neural networks rely on training sets – teaching something to get the result you want
  • How it works doesn’t matter – the input and output does
  • Rankbrain
    • Made to understand queries better to serve results
    • Not a ranking factor – it’s the 3rd most important factor used in determining results
    • Good article to check out: com/rankbrain-myth-busting

Presentation Link:

Machine Learning – Ryan Jones from @wtfseo #sejsummitchicago @sejournal Click To Tweet

Content Strategy – Akin Tosyali @grainger

  • Listen to customers
  • Quantify
    • Estimate the $ to gain by coming up with a formula
  • Engage w/other stakeholders
    • Get a seat at the table in meetings
    • Show how your efforts benefit them

Presentation Link:

Content Strategy – Akin Tosyali @grainger #sejsummitchicago @sejournal Click To Tweet

You can find a link to all SEJ presentations here:

Link to all @sejournal #sejsummitchicago2016 presentations located here: Click To Tweet