Milestone’s ENGAGE2022 brought top-notch thought leadership to you. The main goal of the conference was to educate the attendees, build community, and share our product roadmap. These events are challenging since you are responsible for planning, driving attendance, and delivering the end-to-end experience for your audience. For example, Milestone has been conducting its customer conference for the past 8 years, and each year we curate best-in-class thought leadership content around the most relevant topics related to digital transformation, marketing, SEO, analytics, and more.
Here is a recap of key points and takeaways for the community.
Opening Keynote: The Next Phase of Digital Transformation for Marketers
Benu Aggarwal, Founder and President, Milestone Inc.
In the opening keynote, Benu discussed the key trends impacting the next phase of digital transformation. How do you align your digital goals, deliver a consistent brand promise, and how do you drive the impact that really matters? The next phase of digital transformation for marketers included focus on the following key priorities:
- Prioritize your omnichannel customer journeys, make sure you are available on channels where your customers interact with your brand
- Full-funnel marketing is the key system to drive demand generation and demand capture initiatives and capturing a share of customers’ attention via micro moments and digital interactions
- Future-proof your digital presence by staying up to date with the latest algo changes and score cards
- Develop reliable, available, secure, and scalable infrastructure for your digital assets
- Use automation and artificial intelligence to make search smarter
- Build to scale and exercise enterprise agility
Keynote: Marketing Through Your Customer Sources of Influence
Rand Fishkin, Founder and Thought Leader, SparkToro
Without an established brand and site authority, ranking is often tough. As brand & authority grow, SEO gets easier. Once people prefer you in the SERPs, and links are pouring in, content ranks with less effort. A better way of driving influence on your customers’ experience is by figuring out who your customers are and what message resonates with them, and once you understand that you can uncover the sources that influence them and discover where those audiences engage and amplify messages that work in places they pay attention to. Rand introduced the audiences to “Influence” Marketing; Discover your audience’s sources of influence (blogs, websites, social accounts, podcasts, newsletters, forums, events, et al.) and market through & with them in ways that resonate.
Ritika Chugh, Milestone Inc and Sathya Krishnamurthy, Meta
Local 3.0 has transformed local search, which has led to more information per site to update while non-branded queries have increased. It is important to adapt to changing requirements with disparate systems in a business environment must come together to address the needs of Local 3.0. Business messaging is an effective way to engage with local customers, it is creating a new way to generate leads and develop channel reengagement
Best Practices in Local Search
Brett Dugan, Milestone Inc and Stephan Trahan, Milestone Inc
Local is about discovery and experience, brands can enhance their local content, engage with their local audience & deliver an exceptional digital experience. To future-proof your local marketing experience here are some key best practices to adhere to when it comes to creating a strong location presence
- Include enhanced business information beyond just adding the name, address, phone, and URL. Go far beyond UNAP accuracy to facilitate engagement with customers directly in search result pages
- Drive engagement with local customers via Google Posts, Q&A, and reviews
- FAQs show up on SERP results, make sure you answer them regularly
- Deliver exquisite landing page experience and page speed
- Add schemas, optimize for core web vitals, add content assets for enhanced profile data
Advanced Website Design & UX
James Nash, Avinash Bonu, Milestone Inc and Nate Philippsen, Sun Outdoors
When talking and tackling the SEO or search landscape, the biggest challenge for businesses today is visibility in the highly coveted first few positions on the SERPs for a query. With the blatant shift of majority searches being carried out on mobile devices, customers now wish for a quick answer while on the go. To no surprise, 80% of online searches are discovery searches.
Identifying & fixing pain points, and better yet, preventing them, is at the core of the user experience, and it typically involves developing an omnichannel presence, future-proofing your digital assets, personalizing your customers digital experiences, and driving customer engagement. Omnichannel experiences thrive on design, consistency of experiences, and on relevance of data.
Success with Enterprise SEO The 7 Must-Haves to Scale
Bill Hunt, Back Azimuth and Towa Ghosh, HPE
SEO is an “Always on” marketing activity that allows us to directly connect with a consumer at the very instant they are actively looking for information related to our products or brands. Not being found eliminates us from the consideration set. Here are the 7 must-haves to scale your SEO effort:
- Focus on the basics to get indexed, ranked and clicked
- Build for the SERPs and search ecosystem
- Build content by customer’s journey
- Look into missed opportunities
- Look for scalable projects
- A/B test to innovate FAQ Content Schema
- Look to build allies and drive effectiveness by leveraging analytics, scorecards & business impact
Enterprise Agility –Best Practices & Must-Haves
Patrick Reinhart, Conductor
Agility means people who can move fast within organizations and get things implemented faster. One of the biggest facets of being successful in search is your ability to change your strategies on-the-fly agility. Agility is the process of breaking your projects down into micro-chunks, making sure that you’re constantly moving and testing and tweaking. Search marketers can get lost in ingesting data that they give themselves analysis paralysis, and because of that decision making slows down and eventually you end up taking way longer to implement changes which need immediate attention. By embracing agility metrics and aligning teams and goals, you can move faster and stay on top of the complex maze of change and deliver great results.
Entity Optimization to Elevate Your Search Results
Tushar Prabhu, Susan Conley, Milestone Inc., and Bess Montecalvo, Hyatt Hotels
Imagine a hotel in White Plains, NY needed to increase traffic to their website, specifically to their special events page. Their goal was to get users to know about wedding room block opportunities at their property. Milestone enhanced the content for the weddings section and emphasized intimate gatherings and room blocks to drive quality leads. So how did the search engines understand the changes in the content and delivered more leads to the hotel?
Most recent Google algorithms have been aimed at understanding language and relationships between words through entities. A keyword can refer to several very different subjects. Moving to an entity-based strategy means more context for search engines, robust content, and better visibility on search for relevant queries. Entities are implemented on the website by tagging schemas and that allows search engines to understand the context of the content better.
Future Proof Your Measurement Through GA 4
Vikas Sheth, Milestone Inc
Data privacy is a very important aspect while tracking user data & behaviors as we are entering in a cookieless world. Cookieless measurement, behavioral and conversion modelling are integrated in GA4. Multiple channels & touchpoints can influence purchase decisions, and we have so much data to analyze for micro & macro behaviors that its important to develop a system to reduce gaps in understanding of our data. The time to upgrade to GA 4 is now to get year-on-year data stored before the final cutover oin July 2023. GA 4 data & events architecture can make or break your business and solving the right problem has never been more important in marketing than today.
Milestone’s ENGAGE2022 showcased the latest trends, shared customer-based case studies, and delivered actionable takeaways and tools to help you accelerate your digital strategy and transformation, engage, connect, and convert. Regardless of your role, industry, or company size, ENGAGE is a great place to learn about what’s happening in digital marketing, get inspiration through strategic ideas and services, and make connections with the Milestone team as well as your peers. The quality of our content has been rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by attendees for 7 years running!
Chip Conley, Author, Hotelier, Speaker delivered a keynote on leadership must-haves and emphasized understanding and flexibility.
With our motto of “Be Everywhere your customers are”, Milestone offers a suite of products for businesses across the globe to boost their visibility on search and take them right in front of their customers. To know more about our product and services, click here or contact us at [email protected] or call us at 408-200-2211.