It's SES London time again (21-25 Feb) and we are fighting over tickets here at Wordtracker. Below is a preview from Max Holloway of one of the biggest UK search marketing events of the year, including some of his top picks.
SES (Search Engine Strategies) tours the world so wherever you are you can see, hear and meet the top minds and business from the search marketing industry.
Above all, trade conferences are a great opportunity to meet other professionals and build networks. In my experience your most valuable resource is your network, so it’s worth spending time cultivating it.
SES is also an opportunity to meet suppliers and hack-out new and better deals for your business. Or it can be a great opportunity to find new work and clients.
I've been looking through the agenda and there are a few sessions that have caught my eye.
Enterprise level SEO and SEO for big sites
Although websites small and large face share many challenges, large sites have their own.
Content creation needs to scale up. All that content (with all its pages) means that information architecture becomes more complicated and more important. It might no longer be possible to add internal links by hand.
As the size of your site increases, so does the number of SEO tasks. There may be 100s of important tasks that need prioritizing, managing and tracking. This is something I know all too well and I’m particularly interested in getting some insight into which SEO jobs deliver the best ROI (Return On Investment).
Using Facebook for marketing is something I’ve had a stab at before, with mixed results. While it is a brilliant platform to reach out to your personal network to find people to do the odd job, friends to help you move or a party to go to, I’ve not yet managed to marshal an audience through it for corporate benefit.
Often, when I see people doing social marketing there seems to be little planning beyond building a facebook page, inviting people and hoping for profit.
Social marketing for a likable or sexy product is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel with a bazooka! But what about the rest of us?
I’m hoping SES will offer effective social marketing tactics for less likeable companies and industries.
PPC or SEO? The ultimate search marketing battle - debate
This debate is always great fun with the speakers playing for laughs. But there is a serious side to the subject.
If you’ve worked in SEO you’ve had to prove the return on investment (ROI) for both of these. I will be interested to see if there is one clear winner from this debate, however I imagine your strategy (SEO or PPC) would depend on your market and product. So here’s a chance to see which you should be investing more time and money into, depending on your market.
Although we always encourage one with the other, the hypothetical question “If you could only afford SEO or PPC, which one would you choose?” is an interesting one.
Augmented Reality revisited
If you’ve only just started looking at mobile then hurry-up. Augmented Reality Interfaces (ARIs) are the next big thing in mobile marketing. For example, you can now simply point your mobile phone down a high street and using an ARI app you can see the closest coffee shop or the restaurant with the best 2-4-1 deals.
Google Skymap is an interesting ARI app which allows you to point your phone at the sky to see stars, planets and constellations. Layar, aggregates ARIs ranging from finding events nearby to seeing which local restaurant has the best rating.
Google’s Eric Schmidt’s recently claimed that “2011 is the year for mobile”. I know this is said every year but this time it might just be true.
New search marketing tools
There are a number of talks about new search marketing tools. I’m on the lookout for great tools which can really save me time while doing SEO, provide useful insight into my industry and finally be a reliable source of value.
Ken McGaffin, How to become a link magnet
Our own Ken McGaffin (Wordtracker CMO) will be speaking at SES about how to be a link magnet.
Ken has a refreshing and extremely powerful take on link building which I think is key to becoming a valued source on the internet and key to building value networks in general.
The method involves finding key players and voices in your market or industry, building relationships with them and organically gaining links and content through collaboration.
This isn’t necessarily a quick and easy way to do things, but then nothing worth doing ever is, and Ken isn’t one for cheap gimmicks.
SES London promises to be an interesting and in-depth week, with the combined knowledge and wisdom of many SEM and SEO gurus. If you happen to bump into myself or any of the Wordtracker team don’t forget to say “Hello!”
If you’re coming to SES London and haven’t bought your tickets yet then you can get 20% off entry if you quote this discount code: WDT20.