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SMX West Speaker Interview Series: Greg Sterling Discusses Mobile SEO

As part of SEJ’s partnership with Third Door Media, I was given the opportunity to interview Greg Sterling, who will be speaking at SMX West.

greg sterling smx west interview

As part of SEJ’s partnership with Third Door Media, I was given the opportunity to interview five marketing experts who will be speaking at SMX West. This was a really awesome opportunity to pick the minds of some of the best in the industry! Be sure to visit SEJ’s booth in the exhibit hall!

Bio: Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local search marketplace. He’s also a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

What are 3 key points or takeaways your SMX West session will focusinon?

I have two sessions that I’m moderating: “Best Practices For Mobile SEO” and “Capturing The Mobile Paid Lead”. The Mobile Paid Lead session is broader and will discuss a range of issues including driving calls and measuring campaigns through call tracking, mobile commerce and mobile retargeting for in-app advertising, and mobile search/PPC campaigns. Mobile SEO will be relatively advanced and focus on ranking and optimization. In that session will be limited discussion of responsive design vs. other approaches.

You mentioned wireless sensors in your session summary, do you think the growing activity tracker/wearable technology will eventually cross paths with mobile marketing efforts and big data? Furthermore, how do you see wearable tech influencing the way we interact with our smartphones?

Wearable tech is in its infancy. Health monitoring and related functions have the most interest and adoption right now. Google Glass is not a mainstream consumer product but smartwatches and heath monitors are or will be in the near term. I could see people’s real-world movements and activities being tracked, captured, and factored back into personalization (across devices/platforms). There’s also an attribution aspect too — did person X go into the store after exposure to the campaign?

In terms of marketing or advertising this whole area is going to be pretty sensitive. It will all have to be very transparent to the end-user and permission based — totally opt-in.

How do you think advertising has been influenced by online media platforms (video, social, mobile)?

Broadly speaking: segmentation, data, and targeting. In terms of mobile’s specific influence: you can now follow people as they move through the “real world.” That is, or soon will be, a revelation. You can now fairly reliably track the impact of digital impressions on offline or in-store sales. That capability is going to have a radical impact on attribution and media buying and planning. Also, the data being thrown off by people’s movements and behaviors in the offline world will make online and email marketing much more sophisticated, personalized, and richer. By the same token, the multi-screen complexity of consumer behavior today has challenged marketers like never before.

How has local SEO been impacted by mobile?

A heavy part of the consumer mobile experience is retrieving and acting on information about the physical world. In terms of mobile, SEO location is a significant ranking factor for sure. I’m not an SEO practitioner; so the degree to which mobile devices have impacted PC-internet based SEO is more opaque to me. However, there’s not as much mobile impact on local SEO as there is local impact on mobile SEO.

What do you like most about being in our industry compared to your “past life” as an attorney?

It’s hard to summarize it all. The dynamic nature of the industry. The technology itself and the fact that we can see society and culture changing around us nearly in real-time. Some of those changes are very positive, some much less so. The immediate access to information and global communication tools are amazing.

Bonus question: What was the last great book you read?

You make the question hard by including the modifier “great.” However . . . I recently read “I Am Malala” about the celebrated Pakistani girl who almost gave her life advocating for girl’s education. I’m also finishing “A Guide to the Zohar,” about that great work of Medieval Jewish mysticism. Next up after that is Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast”.

Register for SMX West here and see Greg in his sessions below:

The Coming Paradigm Shift In Mobile Marketing (#smx #1AMobile)
Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices, the necessary ingredients for a complete paradigm shift are in place: decreasing cost of wireless communication and wireless sensors, combined with the increased ease of access to cheap data storage and data processing means major changes in both online and offline marketing. Smart companies are planning for the future by thinking about cross-device compatibility, but also thinking about big data, and how it will change the way we think about marketing. Attend this session and join their ranks!

Moderator: Greg Sterling, Founding Principal, Sterling Market Intelligence (@gsterling)
Speaker: Cindy Krum, CEO, MobileMoxie (@suzzicks)
Time: Tuesday, March 11, 9:30-9:55am

Best Practices For Mobile SEO (#smx #21C)
On the small screen, ranking high is critical. But do conventional desktop SEO techniques cut it? Some advocate distinct mobile SEO tactics, while others question the very notion of “mobile SEO.” Google is explicit in its advice: be sure to correctly map and optimize your site for mobile users and their intent rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach – or else! In this session, you’ll get the fresh tactics you need to maximize the enormous mobile search opportunity.

Moderator: Greg Sterling, Founding Principal, Sterling Market Intelligence (@gsterling)
Q&A Coordinator: Lisa Williams, Director, Digital Marketing Strategy, Search Discovery (@seopollyanna)
Cindy Krum, CEO, MobileMoxie (@suzzicks)
Michael Martin, Senior SEO Manager, Covario (@mobile__martin)
Bryson Meunier, Director, SEO Strategy, Resolution Media (@brysonmeunier)
Maile Ohye, Senior Developer Programs Engineer, Google Inc. (@maileohye)
Time: Wednesday, March 12, 9:00-10:15am


photo credit: Reuben Yau via photopin cc

Category SEO
Kelsey Jones Marketing Consultant, Owner at Six Stories & StoryShout

Kelsey Jones is a marketing consultant, writer, and owner of and Kelsey has been in digital marketing since ...

SMX West Speaker Interview Series: Greg Sterling Discusses Mobile SEO

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