SMX Sydney is an online marketing conference held once a year (I’ll let you guess where!) which showcases great speakers from Australia and abroad. I’ve attended three and each was unique in topic and timely content, as covered by industry experts. Here are 77 tools and tips I picked up in 2012 and a handful of insights from earlier this year (we also did a liveblog on day two – ask me another time about why day one didn’t get covered… it’s a funny story!). Some of my personal highlights from SMX Sydney 2013 included Brian White (Search Quality Team at Google) on “Google Webspam – What are they looking for?” and the two keynotes: Rand Fishkin (moz) on “Behavioural Psychology Meets Web Marketing” and Marty Weintraub (aimClear) on “Optimising Humans! The Art of Data-Driven Social Marketing”.
You also pick up inside information that you would rarely get on any other day. There’s always a little bit of extra gold, that extra link, that snippet of information that doesn’t come across your Twitter feed and that extra little tool can become useful in your online marketing arsenal.
As for next year, the speakers have yet to be decided – or at least no announcements have been made thus far. I thought I’d see if we can collectively help generate some interest and hopefully influence the organisers to bring out some of our favourite international speakers.
Who do we want to bring to Sydney from around the world?
I’ll kick off the ideas with a list of eight people who I would love to see. If you would like to add some to the list, please add your suggestions in the comments and I will happily add them. Nominate your speakers and then we’ll conduct a poll to decide who’s coming to our fantasy SMX.
Here’s my list of the speakers that I would really love to see:
Dr. Pete Meyers (Moz)
Do I really need an explanation here? Data Scientist to the stars… Dr Pete keeps his eyes on the SERPs like a hawk, makes a helluva lot of sense and will demonstrate why we need to behave like brands. His presentation at mozcon, “Beyond 10 Blue Links: The Future of Ranking” resonated well – check out his recent post on moz: “101 Google Answer Boxes: A Journey into the Knowledge Graph“. Oh yeah – and mozcast. Check that out. Tweet at @dr_pete
Wil Reynolds (SEER Interactive)
What can I say? Australia wants you Wil… you need to be here as the keynote to share your wisdom and energy with our fellow Aussies. More than just RCS, Wil will provide knowledge to help you be a better marketer and how to win at life. Serious thought leadership right here. Plus, he was a highlight for me at mozcon! Tweet at @wilreynolds
Kristina Halvorson (Brain Traffic)
Wrote “Content Strategy for the Web” and seems quite chirpy on Twitter. She can teach us a thing or two about how important it is to have consistent messaging across all consumer touch points on the web. Tweet at @halvorson
Jon Cooper (Point Blank SEO)
Jon is young and really smart. Knows many clever techniques on how to build links and has even produced his own link building course. Met him at mozcon and he’s very switched-on. Tweet at @pointblankseo
Nathalie Nahai (The Web Psychologist)
The more you know about your audience, the better equipped you’ll be to kick ass online. Nathalie can show us how to influence customers by understanding who we’re targeting so we can communicate persuasively and sell to them with integrity – so that they keep coming back! Tweet at @thewebpsych
Sha Menz (Rmoov)
She’s local and her knowledge and experience when it comes to link removals, black and white animals, reconsideration requests and cookies is paramount. Yes, she bakes SEO cookies. She spoke at mozcon this year (representing Australia) and can tell you straight what needs to be done if you’ve been pinged by the big G. Tweet at @shahmenz
Thoughts from the experts
I asked some expert online marketers from around Australia to share their thoughts and here they are!
Martin Macdonald (Expedia)
Think in-house SEO, Martin comes to mind. It would be totally awesome to have Martin talk/discuss about SEO from an in-house perspective. He is opinionated and not afraid to speak his mind, would be great to see him in the flesh. Tweet at @searchmartin
Justin Briggs (Briggsby)
Justin in my mind is one of the best in the industry, his approach to SEO and content marketing is great. His experience from being in an agency, in-house and most recently running his own business, definitely puts him on the list of speakers that I would like to see at SMX next year. Tweet at @justinrbriggs
Richard Baxter (SEO Gadget)
I saw Richard and shared a drink with him at SMX Melbourne. When it comes to actionable takeaways from conferences, Rich is great at that (anyone from SEOgadget for that matter). Every single one of his presentations provide exceptional depth and detail which is exactly what conference attendees love. Tweet at @richardbaxter
Wil Reynolds (SEER Interactive)
The MAN behind #RCS. It would be amazing to have Will present all things #RCS at SMX next year. I think businesses and marketers would benefit from getting showered with some #RCS love. SEO is so much more than “link building”, I think Will would do a great job at communicating that. Tweet at @wilreynolds
Matt Cutts (Google)
2013 has been a crazy year of updates/changes. It would be awesome if Matt can make an appearance, in a Q&A style segment at SMX next year. I think there a lot of SEO’s and marketers in Australia who have questions and are constantly seeking advice. Be nice to get all of these queries answered/debunked by the man himself. Tweet at @mattcutts
Digital Transformation is no longer something that will happen in the future. Your customers have already placed digital at the centres of their lives. Businesses that don’t adapt to this new digital world will be left behind.