Highlights from SMX Sydney 2014

Sandhurst Digital

Sandhurst Digital

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SMX Sydney wrapped up for another year a few weeks ago and I was lucky enough to be part of all key events.

I have decided to share some notes I took from the conference along with some photos from the various events. Please be aware you may find some spelling mistakes and also limited notes during specific sections.

26th May 2014 – Day 1 – Networking Dinner

Prosperity Media the company I founded hosted a dinner event at Phillip’s Foote for international speakers and local conference attendants on the Monday Night. We were luck enough to have some great international SEO’s show up for the dinner including the following names-

+Jon Cooper – Founder Point Blank SEO (USA)
+Jennifer Sable Lopez – Head of Community MOZ (USA)
+Cyrus Shepard – Head of Content Moz (USA)
+Jon Quinton – Agency Director (UK)
+Pieter Verasdonck – Director of Inbound Marketing Croud
+Matthew Forzan – Operations Director eWeb Marketing
+Woj Kwasi – Founder Kwasi studios
+Jock Purtle – Founder Digital Exits

Photos from the dinner below –

Pieter and Jon Cooper from Point Blank SEO having a few drinks –


Cyrus Shepard and Jennifer Sable Lopez from Moz


Sorry for the low quality photos, overall the dinner turned out to be a great event with all speakers and attendants having something interesting to share.

27th May 2014 – Day 2 – SMX Conference at Luna Park

Jeffrey Preston

The keynote presenter on the day talked about in-house SEO and what you should get right with the process.
Key take away from the session were working with developers and the importance of structured mark up on content.
* Jeffrey Preston is the In house SEO Disney

Marty Weintraub – Aim Clear

* Use Google Webmaster Tools for data
* Use Adwords data in Google analytic’s
* Use Landing page level analysis
* Calculate SEO competitive traffic value
* Future of SEO is competitive traffic analysis methods.
* Authority labs relatively cheap rank tracking.
* Search metrics, conductor, bright edge.
* Good tools: Spyfu, Recon, Adgooroo, SEM Rush.
Search Metrics must be really good because Bright edge is suing them!
* Time to get over keywords and I will get into concepts.
* Use Yoast for WordPress to tag content/ content
* Luna metrics is also good.
* Start caring about traffic share now.

Jon Quinton – Build Visbile

* SEO Strategy – Service Strategy.
* In house SEO push on pressure to deliver financial goals.
* Client in question has had a bad experience of SEO in the past so they are reluctant to use your service. You need to present the business case.
* Budget doesn’t come from thin air you need to effectively understand where the budget comes from.
* Global SEO clients may set budgets for various regions. Make sure that you think about all regions when setting a budget.
* Keep KPIs simple, achievable ect.
* Keep reports simple and make very specific points.
* Data reports – Data, revenue, activity reports on what are we doing,
* Commentary on what we are doing.
* Good Tools for reporting – Trello, Basecamp, Google Docs, Asana
* AWR with trusted proxies, Tracking a large amount of data for all clients at the agency.
* email the client before the client emails you
* 1 page documents can work well for clients to show a quick analysis.
* Custom dashboards work well for clients.
* Export custom dashboards into excel so the analysis will be more enjoyable.
* Match up Google Analytics data with log file data.
* View screaming frog on clients site to look for analysis, then cross check the data with organic traffic from GA to look for correlations.
* Compare number of requests per page via Google bot and then cross check it with landing specific data (organic search)
* Look at referral traffic and easy one to provide analysis via.
* SEO tools for excel is a good tool to use.
* Has out link building been effective – volume of links/ social metrics.
* look at conversion paths for new content marketing campaigns.
* Simplicity is the key.

Simon Dunwoody – Ikon

* Google Adwords is like a drug once you get on it you can not stop. Well the vaccine is SEO 😉
* Call tracking provides a whole new data set of target areas.
* Use call extensions

Cyrus Shepard – MOZ


* Google scraping heavily on numerous results
* Different words refer to different things.
ConceptNET API
* Structured Data use highly important –
Freebase for analysis on data.

Greg Boser – USA

* Zillow good example of responsive design.
* I had to make some client calls so I missed most of Greg’s Presentation.

Jon Cooper – Link Building

* Prospecting
* Looking elsewhere for linking opportunities.
* Looking cross geographically for links for example using DMOZ to reverse engineer the strategy.
* Quantify content opportunities
* Filtering down on metrics.
* Link qualification.
* Reaching out to less websites.

Funny tweet from Viper Chill During Jons presentation –

Jen Lopez – MOZ

* Spend time to implement a YouMoz post, grammar are highly important.

Overall it was a great start to the day with some fantastic content.

It was now time to get onto the SMX Boat Cruse and enjoy a few hours cruising around the harbor.

28th May 2014 – Day 3 – SMX Conference at Luna Park Shez from Rmoov presented on getting your head in the penalty game. http://www.disdit.com/ and Money Robot anchor text checker decent link penalty tools. https://websiteadvantage.com.au/SWAT-Google-Webmaster-Tools-Exporter

* During the second day at Luna Park I was presenting in the morning so I decided to take limited notes, I was tweeting some content when I found interesting points.

during the morning session I presented on the topic using Social Media for SEO and Traffic (you can view the full presentation below)


Thanks to chrisburgess.com.au for the photo.

Some Tweets from people who saw the presentation and provided some feedback –






Overall their were some fantastic presentations during day two of the conference.

My high light was Richard Baxters presentation on actionable outreach.

29th May 2014 – Day 4 – SMX SEO Advanced Conference at Vibe Hotel.

Greg Boser – Foundation Digital

* Greg states site architecture is highly important
* Pyramid style hierarchy
* Deep crawl recommended yet expensive, ideal for enterprise clients
* Test 285 character description tags, multiple signals “Copyrighting 101” article.
* Title to read well and be part of the sales pitch.
* Authoritative sites do well from a ranking point of view on QDF (Quality Deserves Freshness) content.
* New site no generic anchor text for a year all branded
* Topical focus on majestic
* Relevant local signals for link building – Sydney links target Sydney only sites.

Cyrus – MOZ

* Test long title tags.
* Authority Labs is a great tool.
* Focus on building a high quality site
* Link will never die Google has no real replacement.
* Co-occurrence is important.
* Related topical content.
* Irrelevant pages linking can cause issues.
* Relevance of the linking domain is important.
IMEC Lab – Moz testing different SEO areas.
* Longer content usually does better in SERPS.

Jon Cooper – Point Blank SEO


* Reddit sub reddit section for content ideas.
* Forums link building and sponsorship opportunity.
* Testimonials is a great way to get links.
* Product round up posts.

Jeff Preston – Walt Disney

* Schema.org video implementation
* Implementation test –
70% Schema.org success
20% Open Graph success
10% XML Video success

* 1,000 video test group.
* Executive Section BIO mark up works well.
* Add all content to Freebase.com a key element to knowledge graph.

Mobile SEO – Cindy Krum

* Page speed is highly important on mobile.
* 30% of mobile searches have a local intent.
* Mobile page speed tests are good.
* Mobile page speed insights are good.
* Do not use a .mobi domain they are not worth it.
* Doctor directory an interesting site.
* Test eCommerce pages on numerous mobile devices WAP errors can happen.

Jen Lopez – Moz

* Social is not a ranking factor
* Checkout Google ripples
* Google+ integration on Adwords is important.
* Stay consistent on your social channels.
Rich pin validator.
* Keep company work on the same slide share account.

Give it up session – Can not share the notes from here.

Overall it was a great conference, I had a pleasure of meeting some fantastic international and local search employees. If you were at the conference please share some thoughts in the comments section below.


I currently own a high performance SEO & Content Marketing Agency called: Prosperity Media.

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