Yesterday, we looked at building the business case for going to SES San Jose. Today, let's tackle optimizing your schedule for Search Engine Strategies San Jose.
For arguments sake, let's say that you'll be bringing four members of your team to the SES conference and SEM training. One is an SES newbie, another is an SEO specialist, a third is a PPC specialist, and the fourth is an SEM veteran.
Which Search Engine Strategies conference sessions and search engine marketing training workshops should each one attend – to ensure that your business gets the biggest bang for its bucks?
As I mentioned yesterday in yesterday's post, “Building the business case for going to SES San Jose,” almost 88% of the content at Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2008 will be brand new! So, how can anyone presume to know which sessions to recommend to someone else?
That's a fair point, so you may want to glance at the conference at a glance yourself before deciding which tracks are right for you.
But, I've attended 28 SES conferences since the spring of 2002. And I've learned that the key to getting the right member of your team into the right session is to see who is speaking as well as to read what the session is about.
For example, on Tuesday, Aug. 19, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., the Orion Keynote Panel, Technical & Information Giants, will be moderated by Kevin Ryan, Vice President, Global Content Director, Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch, and Mike Grehan, Global KDM Officer, Acronym Media. The speakers include:
• Matt Cutts, Software Engineer Guru, Google;
• Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land;
• Tim Westergren, Founder, Pandora;
• Robert Scoble, Managing Director, FastCompany.TV; and
• Kirsten Mangers, Co-Founder & CEO, WebVisible.
According to the session description, these search engine marketing industry giants will “discuss how the past will shape our future and attempt to answer some of the biggest questions in search. What are the most important changes in the space that you should be aware of? How will the decisions made today affect our marketing and communication efforts in the future?”
While it's never been held before, I strongly encourage you to attend this session. In fact, run, don't walk, if you want to get a good seat.
In other cases, you'll want your team to split up to cover as much of the four-day SEM conference as possible. To help you get started, here is an optimized schedule of Search Engine Strategies San Jose for an SES newbie, an SEO specialist, a PPC specialist, and an SEM veteran.
Day 1 - Monday, August 18, 2008
Whole Team: Conference Welcome & Orientation
SES Newbie: Search Industry Update
SEO Specialist: Universal & Blended Search
PPC Specialist: More Customers, Fewer Costs - Why Marketing to the 'Long Tail' Makes Sense
SEM Veteran: Mobile SEO: Death of the “.mobi”
SES Newbie: The Next Wave for Online Video
SEO Specialist: Igniting Viral Campaigns
PPC Specialist: Giving Credit Where It's Due: Which Campaign Sold What?
SEM Veteran: Semantic Search: How Will It Change Our Lives?
Whole Team: Orion Keynote Panel: How Much Search is Enough?
SES Newbie: Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO)
SEO Specialist: Storyteller Marketing: How the Art of Storytelling Matches Up With the Business of Marketing
PPC Specialist: Everything But Google: Alternative Search Advertising Options
SEM Veteran: Enterprise Search: Running Your Own Search Engine
Whole Team: Opening Keynote Presentation
Lee Siegel, Author of “Against the Machine”
Day 2 - Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Whole Team: Morning Keynote
Satya Nadella, Senior VP, Search, Portal & Advertising Platform Group, Microsoft
Whole Team: Expo Hall Grand Opening
SES Newbie: Introduction to Search Engine Marketing
SEO Specialist: Measuring Success in a 2.0 World
PPC Specialist: Landing Page Testing & Tuning
SEM Veteran: Shopping Search Tactics
Whole Team: Orion Keynote Panel:: Technical & Information Giants
SES Newbie: Search Advertising 101
SEO Specialist: Identify, Analyze, Act: SEM by Numbers
PPC Specialist: Landing Page Utopia: Expert Roundtable
SEM Veteran: Research Online, Purchase Offline
Whole Team: Networking Cocktail Reception
Whole Team: Google Dance
Buses depart for the Google Campus from 6:30pm
Day 3 - Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Whole Team: Special Session
SES Newbie: Building a Search Friendly Site
SEO Specialist: SEO Through Blogs & Feeds
PPC Specialist: Ads in a Quality Score World
SEM Veteran: Getting Vertical Search Right
SES Newbie: Link Building Basics
SEO Specialist: News Search SEO
PPC Specialist: Auditing Paid Listings & Click Fraud Issues
SEM Veteran: Searcher Behavior Research Update
SES Newbie: Keywords & Content: Search Marketing Foundations
SEO Specialist: Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues
PPC Specialist: War of the Search Worlds: Unifying Your Global Search Marketing Program
SEM Veteran: SEO Rehab & Intervention
SES Newbie: Maximizing SEO Returns With User Generated Content
SEO Specialist: Dealing With New Technologies
PPC Specialist: Advanced Paid Search Techniques
SEM Veteran: Black Hat, White Hat: Playing Dirty With SEO
Whole Team: Domain Auction
Whole Team: SearchBash
Just blocks from the Convention Center from 7:00pm till late!
Day 4 - Thursday, August 21, 2008
Whole Team: Morning Keynote
Chip Heath, Author of “Made to Stick”
SES Newbie: The Business Case for SEO Content Development: Turning Words Into Action!
SEO Specialist: How to Speak Geek: Working Collaboratively With Your IT Department To Get Stuff Done
PPC Specialist: Effective Contextual Search Management
SEM Veteran: Site Clinic
SES Newbie: Fast, Free & Easy Tools to Get You Going
SEO Specialist: Trademark Issues: What SEMs Should Know
PPC Specialist: Creating a Cohesive Search Strategy Across Multiple Business Units
SEM Veteran: Site Clinic
SES Newbie: How to Choose a Search Vendor
SEO Specialist: Best Kept Secrets to Search
PPC Specialist: Post Click Marketing - Converting Search Engine Traffic
SEM Veteran: Affiliate & Search Marketing Square Off
SES Newbie: Organic Listings Forum
SEO Specialist: In House SEO: Lessons Learned & Victories Won
PPC Specialist: Search Advertising Tools
SEM Veteran: Site Clinic
Yes, I know that I included special events like the Google Dance in the schedule above. But, trust me on this: You'll learn as much talking to the Google guys and girls at the Google campus as you will by attending any of the conference sessions listed above.
Before you register, take a hard look at sending some of your people to the SEM and SEO training workshops on the day following the conference. They are designed to provide in-depth training in a small class setting.
You may want to send your SES newbie, SEO specialist, and PPC specialist to one or two of these half-day workshops.
Day 5 - Friday, August 22, 2008
SES Newbie: Successful SEO: The Essential Elements - Part 1
SEO Specialist: Optimizing for Universal Search
PPC Specialist: Search & Analytics Workshop: Using Analytics to Increase Search Effectiveness
Whole Team: Lunch Break
SES Newbie: Successful SEO: The Essential Elements - Part 2
SEO Specialist: Search Engine Marketing Metrics and Myths
PPC Specialist: Making Pay Per Click Pay - Best Practices in Pay Per Click Advertising
If you optimize your schedule for SES San Jose, then you will increase the likelihood that your team will return with more than enough new search engine marketing opportunities, better search engine optimization techniques, and different pay-per-click advertising options to provide your organization with a very healthy return on its investment.
See you there.