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Review of SES Conference, San Francisco – of SEO Newbies & Experts

I love learning!  As someone who teaches SEO Courses Online, on a daily basis, I read the various SEO blogs and feeds…  I stay tuned to the latest books on SEO on Amazon, and I try to attend the various SEO conferences on a yearly basis.  Conferences are tough because they are not always at the most convenient times, and they can be quite pricey ($1500 or more).  So here’s my notes from the just-concluded SES Conference, San Francisco.  A review of sorts – focused on whether a small business owner or marketer should attend this conference.

Here’s my bottom line review of SES, San Francisco -

  • If you are a serious SEO, an agency, a guru, someone who devotes 100% of his time to SEO, this conference is well worth it.  It is generally experts talking to experts, with a good dose of useless self-promotional corporate stuff thrown in (so just throw that out).  Some of the guru’s are useless, too; so ignore those fools.  But some of them are priceless.  So if you are a smart attendee, you can learn a lot!
  • If you are a small business owner or marketer, looking for a venue to learn SEO, this is NOT a good conference for you.  The tracks are pretty disorganized, with lots of esoterica.  Nothing provides a general step-by-step framework on how to do SEO.  For that, you are better off taking a class (like those that I teach), or reading a book (like those that I write).  They do have some pricey modules at the conference that are trainings.  So those are an option.

Avinash Kaushik, Keynote at SES Conference San Francisco

SES San Francisco - Review

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Avinash Kaushik (http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/) gave the keynote speech and was fabulous.  Note that this keynote was free to anyone; so the take-away here is register for free and attend at least the keynotes.  His big theme was on metrics – micro conversions, macro conversions, and economic value.  Behind the amazing presentation was really the re-packaging of the theme of having a “marketing ladder” from free to value on your website.   He gave us some good links – Data Driven Documents, Multi-channel Attribution, and focused a lot on intent marketing.

In terms of social media metrics, Avinash recommended -

  • Conversation rate – the number of comments for your posts.
  • Amplification rate – are your Tweets, Facebook posts, etc., being shared?  By who and how much?
  • Applause rate – are your posts being “liked” or Google+’d?

Other interesting links from him were -

So that was the keynote.  Bottom line: highly recommended.  Extremely useful speaker.  If you get a chance to see Avinash speak, I highly recommend him!

Other sessions at SES Conference, San Francisco -

I attended the mobile marketing sessions.  Most of them were very, very good.  Mobile marketing is of course hot, hot, hot!  Everyone wants to “go mobile.”  An interesting tool here was Social Media Metrics, which measures your social media buzz across venues.  26% of mobile US consumption is mobile!

Another theme was big data.  The speaker on this was very disappointing.  There were quite a few speakers from a firm called MarketMotive, and all of them were sadly very disappointing.  It seems to be a plague on the SEO industry of people who are just a little full of themselves and lacking in real detailed understanding and knowledge of SEO and Social Media; I had the feeling with this crowd of being at the State Fair.  It slices, it dices!  But I didn’t get the feeling that any of them had every really cooked a turkey or canned a tomato, if you cash my drift.

Back to mobile, I did not catch the speaker’s full name, but it was Arun @ pointiflex.com.  (Pointiflex is a mobile advertising company).  But he was fantastic!  He talked not just about mobile advertising but about APP advertising, and how promoting your APP and advertising inside an APP is a big deal.  He recommended this Google site, Our Mobile Planet.

MarketingExperiments.com was an interesting firm – apparently they track all sorts of ROI / conversion rates.

Bing Webmaster Tools – Bing was very active at SES.  I love the Bing people.  It’s like all the friendly, helpful people quit Google and went to Bing.  Go Bing!

Pinterest – Pinterest was hot, hot hot!  Here are some cool Pinterest tools -

Buzzwords at SES San Francisco

Among the buzzwords were -

  • Responsive site design – rather than having a mobile site, a desktop site, an iPad site, etc., having a responsive site design that automatically adjusted to the browser / device.
  • Retargeting / Remarketing – this is using a service or Google to re-serve ads to people who have already visited your website.  One of the leaders here is AdRoll.com.
  • Citations – this is getting other sites to correctly list your company name, physical address, and phone number for local SEO.
  • Knowledge Graph – this is one of Google’s latest attempts to be more intelligent about search, showing results on the right hand side of the Google screen.
  • Infographics and Instructographics – seems like everyone is producing these, as they are highly shared.
  • Splogs – these are blogs created just for link farming and spam.
  • Concurrent Consumption – this is the trend of the coach potato, watching TV and being on his/her mobile phone at the same time.