It’s Pubcon week over here in Las Vegas—one of the most insightful weeks on the SEO/Social conference tour—and Monday was Masters Group Training day. I have really grown to love this pre-conference learning experience because it is so much more intimate than the 3-day affair that follows. With around 300 people in attendance, as opposed to the 4,000+ that will be here the rest of the week, there were excellent opportunities to speak with the elite of the industry and really pick their brains.
This year there were four different tracks for participants to attend:
- SEO: Organic Traffic Rocks
- Social Media Marketing
- PPC / Conversion / Landing Page
- In-House SMO/SEO
After listening to an excellent keynote by Greg Boser, I bounced around the first two tracks and came away with some killer insights that I can begin putting into action immediately. And because sharing really is caring, I’ve listed five highlights from each of the sessions I attended below.
You can also get real time updates all week by following me on Twitter @davidcarrillo !
Masters Training Keynote by Greg Boser  (@GregBoser)
- Worried about implementing authorship and then having writers leave your company? Fear not! Boser says companies will not lose authority if an author leaves the company and removes the corresponding Google+ connection.
- Google will deny it but they have many ways to track user activity on and off their domains. One metric becoming increasingly important is dwell time, which is a signal of relevance and quality.
- Still not a believer in authorship? In the near future, links on the web will be weighted more by who the links come from rather than where the link comes from.
- Google has struggled historically with author topical authority but they can and will get better. This should have a big impact on your strategy for developing authority and how you solicit links from others.
- AuthorCrawler  and FindPeopleonPlus  are two cool tools to get more information on authorship and to identify influencers.
Facebook Ad Optimization by Dennis Yu  (@DennisYu)
- Facebook says about 16% of business posts are seen by users, but for large brands its closer to 2-3%. When you combine this with the fact that Facebook used to show ads every one out of 120 posts but now does so around one out of 30, their monetization strategy is clear.
- Organic social activities and paid social activities need to work closer together. If you see a Facebook post with a high viral to organic ratio, you need to run ads against it immediately.
- Facebook targeting tips:
- Broad Category Targeting + Precise Interest Targeting
- Match a large, generic term like McDonalds in Targeted Entities with a specific Precise Interest
- Target Competitors in Sponsored Results, direct users to a custom tab in an iFrame and then perform ad retargeting on those users
- Facebook doesn’t do a good job estimating CTR, so rather than bid on a CPC basis, use a super high CPM and you will get better results at cheaper rates.
- Go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/adboard  to see how other people are advertising. Competitor reconnaissance can give you lots of ideas to execute on!
LinkedIn Marketing by Jabez LeBret  (@jabezlebret)
- When setting up your LinkedIn profile, remember your job title follows you everywhere. Add context in the form of a description to better explain your value proposition.
- Stop focusing your efforts on joining online marketing groups. Identify business targets and join the groups they’re active in.
- The Most Popular Discussion section in a LinkedIn Group is determined by Total Comments and Recent Comments. To drive comments on a LinkedIn Group post, private message power users for their feedback and appeal to their ego.
- When setting up a LinkedIn Group, you must be perceived as the authority for the information of that group. The goal is to get targets/prospects to join the group so you can market to them later.
- LinkedIn Ad copy has 25 characters in the headline and 75 characters in the body, but image selection is the most important. Also take advantage of the Lead Collection option; you can drive to custom landing page and allow users to request you contact them or provide you their email.
Advanced Linkbuilding by Todd Malicoat  (@stuntdubl)
- Before you even begin to link build, you need to assess where you’re at and where you’re competitors are at. One way to gather some of this information is to pull top competitors from SEMRush and then use a service like Raven to identify common links.
- Perform a Keyword Opposition to Benefit Analysis (KOB). Determine the opposition, how much effort it will take to dominate that keyword, and what the benefit of ranking for that keyword will be.
- When guest posting, don’t worry about doing the same site multiple times. Hit a root domain and move on (if he could use a single metric, he said it would be Root Level Linking Domains).
- 7 Link Bait Hooks –> Attack, Humor, Contrarian, News, Resource, Ego and Picture/Movie.
- FollowerWonk , WeFollow , Twello , Blogger LinkUp , SocialBro  and My Guest Blog  are a few awesome prospecting tools you should consider incorporating into your workflow.
Advanced SEO by Michael Gray  (@graywolf)
- Schema + Authorship + Fresh Content + Clean Architecture = Awesome Onsite SEO
- You need to be concerned about page size/speed. Do everything you can to fix heavy pages such as reducing scripts, condensing CSS files and eliminating unnecessary 3rd party calls.
- If you want to get high quality placements and links, you need to identify what/where/when the people writing about the news are reading and get on their radar; relationship building over link building.
- Do things for marketing and brand building reasons, NOT FOR SEO.
- Spamoflage your link buying as press by getting creative. Sponsor local events, give products to the linkorati, donate to charity or public entities.