I’m still occasionally giggling at the thought of April’s version of Learn Inbound. It was that perfect combination of new, educational, geeky and very funny.

Before this conference, I never really thought it’s possible to give a talk on reverse engineering of anything while making people laugh to tears (clearly, I was wrong!).

In the sea of fantastic stuff we got to hear from some top faces the world of digital, here are the top 15 takeaways that can ultimately make us all better marketers.

Marcus Tandler, @mediadonis

Marcus Tandler - Onpage.org

Marcus is a German entrepreneur known as a co-founder of Onpage.org. During his slidestorm (I’m not even joking, there was a total of 303 slides) he spoke about Google’s upcoming decade of investing in machine learning and artificial intelligence, while also revealing what it takes to be successful from search engine’s point of view today.

Your code needs to be perfect

You heard it – nothing less than a 100% perfect. No broken images, links or pages! Your website needs to load as fast as humanly possible (which is why the existence of Facebook Instant Articles and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Project make such a huge difference) and it should proudly be mobile and omni-device friendly.

If your content disappeared from the web, would anyone miss it?

It might seem a bit drastic to think that, but it’s sure worth to try. The times when content was all about links and “throwing stuff at Google and something will stick” strategy are long gone – your content needs to be of impeccable quality, building value, trust and loyalty, and be the subject matter on all brand conversations.

Make your content easy to read

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it often gets neglected. Make it your goal to create content that satisfies needs, keeping it easily scannable, snackable and with better images. It also wouldn’t hurt to keep in mind that we tend to have short attention spans, so fast loading and bulleted, easily digestible content won’t hurt!

To be able to show your great new content, you need to be clicked first

This means that Google increasingly cares about much more than your backlinks and keywords. Think about “long clicks” – high number of page views per visit, longer dwell time, return visitors and lower bounce rate all act as indicators to Google that your website is of the highest quality… so make it the best website, ever.

Ultimately, Google just wants to know which content serves its users best.

And that is far beyond a simple list of ranking factors – it’s about making users happy.

Bridget Randolph, @BridgetRandolph

Bridget Randolph - Distilled

Bridget is a consultant for Distilled and loves all things mobile. With mobile now being the preferred way to access the web, she spoke about the best first actions to current challenges in mobile and the adaptation waterfall that ultimately leads to the need of a better user experience.

We have to do something about poorly optimized mobile experiences

Lay the groundwork: use the Mobile Friendly Testing Tool, Search Console Reports and the separate tab within the Page speed Insights tool. To check URLs in bulk, use URL profiler. These will help you pass the basic mobile-friendliness tests!

We have to do something about on-page user experience

Earlier mentioned Google AMP will do wonders for your content by loading it really quickly and allow it to be cached by Google and served directly in the search engine results page. You should use AMP if you want wider distribution of your content and if a high amount of your traffic is mobile, especially if you make a lot of editorial content.

We have to do something about consistency of experience

Google’s search results have changed a lot: there are no more sidebar ads and we often get results displayed as cards, maps and graphs. This means you need to account for it in your reporting and consider more top-of-funnel landing pages!

We have to do something about “walled garden” app content

Google needs to integrate app content with the rest of the web – or they risk becoming irrelevant. But if you don’t have an app, before you do anything about it, think whether your app would add convenience, provide unique and/or social value, offer incentives or entertain? This will help you decide whether you need an app in the first place.

There are two more awesome search trends you should know about

The first one is “queryless search” – while searching, users tell a lot about themselves, including their location, language, device, search history and much more. Think of which aspects of their context can help you be found!

Another trend is a number of intelligent personal assistant, such as Google Now, Siri and Cortana. WIth this one, ask yourself how can you prepare to be the  best source from a personal assistant app’s point of view!

Oli Gardner @OliGardner

Oli Gardner - Unbounce

In the odd case you haven’t heard of him, Oli is co-founder of Unbounce and the person that’s seen more landing pages than anyone else on the planet, and he knows some pretty awesome things about them. He also has a rare talent of making data fun!

UsabilityHub and a Javascript hack are your new best friends

Bosses are sometimes difficult to convince – most marketers have been there. Well, not anymore! If you want to prove your boss that something can be changed for the better, here’s what to do:

  1. Paste the below code into the address bar on a website you want to do something about. After that, you can change elements like headline, tagline, copy etc. (this obviously won’t mess with the actual website, but it will allow you to preview the desired change)
  2. With these screenshots, run a usability test through UsabilityHub. There is a variety of tests available, such as 5 second test, question test or a navigation test. Numbers never lie, and you can easily find out which version is more comprehensive or converts better. Split testing at its best!

Clarity in your copy is crucial

According to an actual equation, clarity is made up from distraction, expectation, readability, visual identification, immediacy, specificity and hyperbole. Think of ways these may be helping or hurting your conversion rate!

The word “free” isn’t that persuasive

Shocking, I know – but according to Unbounce’s landing page data, the word “free” actually lowers the conversion rate. So worth knowing!

Social proof

Hyperbole can actually hurt you! Steer clear from it and make sure your social proof demonstrates the transformative effect of your user’s journey. Specificity is the key!

Tell them what to do and where to click

Words like “now” and “here” after “click” or “download” can increase conversion by a significant lot – Unbounce’s data points between 8% and 48%. And most importantly… This might seem very obvious, but it’s very often forgotten: have a CTA in the first place!

That’s all from April’s conference! What did you find the most useful? Would you add anything?

Marijana Kostelac

Marijana is a Dublin-based digital & content marketer, blogger and traveller with a background in broadcast journalism. She is a hopeless fan of networking, learning, smart people and great food.

All articles by Marijana Kostelac

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