Monday, May 23, 2022
The Search Central Virtual Unconference 2022 took place on April 27 this year. This is the third event of this kind.
With over 450 registrants, it’s clear that there is interest in a different format for virtual events. There was representation from 44 countries.
This was the first time we opened the event to facilitators from the community. Since there was so much demand for the proposed sessions, we decided to host a total of 25 breakout sessions for the 127 total attendees. We got a lot of positive feedback about the size of the discussion groups. Another aspect that got mentioned in the feedback was that the decision to give space to discussions by not recording the sessions and limiting the number of attendees helped to make sure everyone is heard and included.
Some learnings from the sessions
Our facilitators took notes during their sessions and here are the conclusions:
- Video SEO is a newer topic for content and marketing teams and was a well-received session. For those looking to make the most out of their video content, the existing video best practices documentation has more insights. There also is documentation on schema markup for getting videos on Google.
- In the ecommerce session, the discussion noted that dealing with product variations is a challenge. Also dealing with faceted navigation can be a challenge as the amount of pages to index and the right combinations of facets vary on a case-by-case basis.
- The International SEO session concluded that internationalization and localization are hard and should not be left for later stages of development.
- The organic and paid growth collaborations sessions found that often both organic and paid marketers work towards the same goal, so teams should look at the bigger picture to build better content and relationships together.
- Real product reviews from blogs and community sites seem to be a great solution to drive conversions and get new customers at the start of the funnel.
- The community around SEO and digital marketing is alive and well: the community seems to be becoming more supportive of one another and sharing more helpful content with each other.
- Images still often provide a great way to quickly improve website speed by serving modern formats and the appropriate quality to different devices.
Feedback from our participants
Our post-event survey showed that participants were pleased with the event overall rating it 4.65 out of 5. This is a motivation to look into repeating this kind of event in the future.
Participants also left us feedback like the following one, which shows that these events definitely provide value to the participants and the community in making voices heard that we usually don't get to hear:
"Even though I was one of the more inexperienced participants, I really felt like a part of the discussions, got to ask questions and truly learnt a lot in a short time. More than I have ever learnt at a conference before."
So, what's next?
There will be more Search Central Unconferences in the future. We had our first non-English Virtual Unconference in Japan in April and we hope to bring more events like this to Japan and to other languages both online or offline in the future. Stay tuned for the future events on Twitter or our event page!