For the past three days, Internet marketing professionals from around the world have been learning tips, tricks and do’s and don’ts of SEO, social media and PPC at Search Exchange in Charlotte, NC.  Keynote speakers included Wil Reynolds, Jim Boykin, Duane Forrester, Andy Beal, Marty Weintraub, Payton Dobbs and Brad Geddes.

In case you missed it, we have compiled our top 10 takeaways from this years Internet marketing conference:

1. Stop pressing enter on Google. Wil Reynolds, CEO of Seer Interactive, points out that Google tracks what people search for the most. Type in the search bar the first word or keywords of your client’s industry and see what Google predicts. Use that as a starting point for your content.

2. Utilize SEO tools. There are plenty of tools to help monitor and analyze your SEO. Annie Cushing, from Seer Interactive, shared her top tools. If you are in SEO, you should be using Screaming Frog, Reverse Internet and SEOMOZ or Majestic. Her complete list of tools and their categories is shared in her Google Doc at bit.ly/tools-galore.

3. Program or be Programmed. Joe Hall, Founder of 22 Media, told us that SEO should be based on intuition, and not solely on tools. Here are some questions to keep in mind when using SEO tools:

  • Where is the data coming from?
  • How are the metrics calculated?
  • How does their data compare to others?
  • What can you do with that data?
  • Does the tool have an API?

4. Content is King. Jim Boykin, CEO of Internet Marketing Ninjas, discussed the importance of good content and how to avoid pogosticking. Here are some questions to ask and Jim’s answers:

  • How do you find bad content? Use your Google Analytics and comb through your pages.
  • What do you do with weak content? You have to kill it, just get rid of it. Make your website flatter.
  • How do you prevent pogosticking? Serve the users. Don’t allow your users to click the back button. How are users getting to your page? Provide them with a link to another site “were you looking for this?”; just don’t send them back to Google.

5. Reputation management needs to be cultivated everyday. According to Andy Beal, CEO of Trackur, companies can work on reputation management every day by focusing on sincerity, transparency and consistency.

6. Be Interested. Laziness does not bread excellence! Create content people want to read. Courtney Seiter, from Raven Internet Marketing, explains that as social media experts, we need to be interested in what the public and people in the industry are saying about our clients. Discover who the brand cheerleaders are, look for them everywhere, make the effort to get to know them by name and determine how a relationship with your client is beneficial and keep following up.

7. Get creative on Pinterest. Pinterest is growing, and it has the opportunity to send tons of traffic to your client’s website. Create content that is interesting, has viral potential and fits in many categories. Colby Almond, from 97th Floor, tells us to try creating easy to read instructographics.

8. Build Relationships. Neal Rodriguez, from The Nielson Company, explains that the easiest thing you can do is connect and engage with your followers. Solve a problem, fill a need and create a win – more win relationship.

9. Bring social offline. Mike Streko, Co Founder of Knowem, teaches us to build personal relationships and take them offline. Whether you meet at a conference or through social media, offline relationships are better.

10. Utilize Google Places. Chris Silver Smith, CEO of Argent Media, shared the importance of ranking at the top for your local business. The three main ranking factors Google uses is relevance, distance and prominence.

If you missed Search Exchange 2012, hopefully you can take and use some of these tips to better your business and your client’s ROI. We hope to see you next year!