A year ago, I wrote an article for Search Engine Watch entitled, “It's ‘Horses for Courses' at SES London.” In the article, I said business professionals may want to bring a team to Search Engine Strategies London – because there will be three concurrent conference tracks and no business professional will be able to attend all of the sessions.
Well, it's a year later and I'd make the same case – even in a recession. In fact, if you need to grow your business online now more than ever, then the smart move will be to bring a team of three people to SES London 2009.
To some extent, this is a case of “In for a penny, in for a pound.” If something is worth doing, then you might as well go the whole nine yards.
But it also turns out that it has economic benefits. If you read the rates and registration details closely, you'll see that there are Special Group Discounts. (First two conference registrants pay full price, the third person from the same organization, registering at the same time qualifies for 50% off their registration fee.)
And sending a team of three people will enable you to take advantage of the fact that the SEM conference includes advanced sessions, intermediate sessions, and beginner sessions. And this will enable your organization to put different "horses" on different "courses."
For example, someone entering the SEM steeplechase for the first time will race through the the Fundamentals Track on Wednesday, Feb. 18, as well as the Beyond Fundamentals Track on Thursday, Feb. 19.
Meanwhile, someone who's been around the SEO racecourse a few times will gallop through the Organic Track on Tuesday, and the Issues and Tactics Track on Thursday.
To extend the metaphor, someone who already knows how to harness PPC will be trotting through the Advertising Track on Wednesday, as well as the Improve Me Track on Thursday.
How can I be so sure? Well, I've been speaking at Search Engine Strategies London each and every year since 2005. And when I wasn't speaking, I was sitting in on sessions to report on the conference for Search Engine Watch.
If you've never been to SES London before and want to get an idea of what you'll see and hear, you can take a look at the descriptions below of half a dozen out of more than 40 sessions -- as well as some video interviews with six the more than 60 conference speakers.
Let's start with a couple of the advanced sessions first.
Search Advertising Tools: In order to get a leg up on the competition, successful Search Engine Marketers need to be armed with the latest tools of the trade. This session will explore a range of popular search engine advertising tools along with some important features you should be aware of. One of the speakers on the panel of experts will be Thomas Bindl, Founder & CEO, Refined Labs GmbH.
Byron Gordon of SEO-PR interviewed Thomas about the evolution of search ad tools during SES Chicago 2008. Thomas mentioned the best paid and free search ad tools on the net and provided a preview of SES London 2009.
Ads in a Quality Score World: More and more, ranking well in paid search listings is less about how much you pay and more about the "quality" of your ad campaign. But what goes into making up your quality score? One of the speakers on this panel will be Andrew Goodman, Principal, Page Zero Media.
As SES Chicago 2008, I interviewed Andrew about the updates he made to his book, “Winning Results with Google Adwords.” His book take a closer look at quality factors and gives tips on increasing the perceived relevancy of your campaign.
Next, let's take a look at a couple of the intermediate sessions:
Search Resources: Building a Better Economic Model: In today's uncertain economic times, businesses need certainty around their marketing and sales initiatives. Measurable, quantifiable strategies which have a defined ROI will win, as managers will only invest in activities they can measure. One of the speakers on this panel will be Bryan Eisenberg, Co-Founder, Future Now, Inc.
Mitch Joel of Twist Image and Six Pixels of Separation interviewed Bryan at SES Toronto 2008. Bryan was the talked about his keynote presentation as well as his new book, “Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer.”
SEO Through Blogs & Feeds: Not yet running a blog? Not syndicating your content through web feeds? Then you're missing out on an important area that can help your overall SEO efforts. One of the speakers on this panel is Jennifer Evans Laycock, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Guide.
At SES San Jose, 2008, Andrew Goodman interviewed Jennifer about the best tips on viral campaigns and social media marketing, especially for small business who want to make the most of their business online without spending too much money.
Finally, let's take a look at a couple of the beginner sessions:
Search Engine Friendly Design: How can you build a website from the ground up that pleases both crawler-based search engines and your visitors? Discover how “search engine-friendly” design can tap into free traffic from search engines. One of the speakers at this session is Matt Bailey, President, SiteLogic.
As SES Chicago, Chris Boggs of Rosetta interviewed Matt about difference between Analytics 1.0 and Analytics 2.0. Matt said Analytics 1.0 is the endless reporting of numbers with no analysis of the data, while Analytics 2.0 digs into the "why and how" to better understand what the data means.
Search Advertising 101: Paid placement is a form of search advertising that provides a top ranking in return for payment. Every major search engine offers a paid placement program. The moderator of this session, which is especially geared toward beginners, will be Andy Atkins-KrÃŒger, Managing Director, WebCertain Europe Ltd.
Byron Gordon interviewed Andyat SES Chicago 2008 about that show as well as his expectations for SES London 2009. Andy also talked about the state of search in Europe for 2009.
In other words, there are courses for horses at SES London 2009. That's what makes it the definitive event for UK and European marketers, corporate decision makers, webmasters and search engine marketing (SEM) specialists, including pay per click (PPC) advertisers and search engine optimization (SEO) consultants.