I’m happy to say that Northside SEO made it to SES this year. This post is a few weeks late to be a timely recap for SES NY, but I didn’t think there was anything covered at the conference that was breaking news or time sensitive. This post is not meant to compete with the live bloggers or anyone else who covered the show in great detail. Instead, I’m going to ramble a bit about my conference experience.
SES NY Highlights
- Being reminded of how big of an industry Search/Social marketing really is. Despite the majority of the content we read being produced by the top 20 or so sites in our industry, there are thousands upon thousands of people out there who do this for a living.
- Avinash’s Keynote. By far the best presentation of the event.
- Sitting behind Lauren and watching her live tweet/blog the SEO Tools panel. She can really fly.
- Seeing Marshall Simmonds and Doug Platts give presentation at the Distilled and Promediacorp sponsored meetup “SEO for CEOs”. While technically not part of SES, it was wisely scheduled during SES and I took full advantage since I was in New York. You can download Marshall’s deck or Doug’s deck. Both are fantastic if you are trying to get more buy-in for SEO from the top of your company.
- Meeting Bryan Eisenberg. This was the second time that I’ve gotten to see Bryan speak and he does a great job of explaining how easy it is to not suck at conversion. It always sounds like pretty obvious stuff if you don’t do much CRO. It boils down to making sure your pages have relevance, value and a call-to-action.
- Having beers at Der Schwarze Koelner with John, Tom and Mike. The subway ride to Brooklyn was worth the trip since I thoroughly enjoy drinking beer and casually talking SEO with peeps who know a lot more about it than I do.
- I met an employee and got contact information for someone who works at Google. It’s always nice to get connections at sites like Google and Facebook because it is pretty much impossible to email them directly for help on any issue.
- Getting free Raven Tools and Search Engine Watch tees, as well as a couple of books. What can I say? I’m a sucka for some free swag.
- Attending Search Bash for the first time. I was much too sober to really enjoy it, but at least I can say I’ve been to one.
- I was introduced to a handful of great minds that I previously wasn’t following (Marshall Simmonds, Doug Platts, Marcus Tober, Nagini Indugula)
- Spending nearly a week in New York. It is truly an amazing city, and SES NY is held in a great location. I think I walked 20 miles that week.
SES NY Lowlights
- The wifi at The Hilton was inconsistent the whole week.
- The exhibit hall was small and cramped with low ceilings.
- SES trying to push some new social network app called Vivastream throughout the show. I don’t think a single person used it.
- I missed my son’s 6th birthday because I was in New York. Luckily, I got to be home for the weekend and party.
- After the SEO for CEOs meetup, I was talking with Doug Platts about the quality of the Conference, and he said something that really resonated with me. This isn’t an exact quote by any means, but he said something along the lines of, “One good thing about conferences is that it reminds you that you are on the same playing field as everyone else.” I really enjoyed that line because I found it to be particularly true. You realize that other marketers struggle with the same things that you do. There aren’t many people out there with tricks up their sleeves. Instead, our success comes from hard work and increasing efficiency through refining techniques and understanding how/when/what tools to use.
- Sitting in conference sessions for three days in a row leads to a lot of ideas. You often come up with ideas that aren’t remotely related to the person currently speaking in the room, but the combination of being in the right mindset and the conference’s energy can lead to great things.
- I’m not a big networker, but I definitely enjoyed the people I met and the time we spent together. You gotta put yourself out there. It’s not as bad as you might think.
Who should go to SES?
- If you’re a serious SEO, I think the networking the show provides is the best reason to consider attending. There are plenty of incredibly intelligent speakers there, but they often start their presentations with this sort of disclaimer, “there’s a mixed crowd here today, so we’re going to keep things fairly simple.” If you’ve been in the industry for a few years and read blogs all the freaking time, you would probably appreciate attending a more advanced show instead. I’ve got my eyes on Mozcon, LinkLove and the Blueglass show in the upcoming years.
- Instead, I think SES is a better fit for your boss, marketing manager or CEO who still isn’t fully committed to the idea of investing in SEO or social media. It would also be of great benefit for new employees who are just getting their feet wet. A lot of the presentations would do wonders for motivating decision makers to allocate more of their marketing budget towards SEO/social.
There you have it. The SES recap from three weeks later that you were all waiting for. I had a great time at SES NY. I’m glad I got to go, and I hope I go again in the future.