You may have been watching the Twitter stream (long live #BlueGlassLA!), but there’s plenty that wasn’t captured in the tweets…
6 Reasons Why BlueGlass LA Rocked
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly one thing that made BlueGlass LA so memorable. I’ve put together a list of what stood out for me, followed by some session highlights. I’d love to hear what stood out most for you, too…
While 48 hours may not seem like a long time, you can really get to know people by being on the same session track, eating all of your meals together, and partying until the wee morning hours.
Funny enough, one of the tiniest details got the most attention: double-sided name badges! For those of us bad with names, these made it near impossible to forget anyone’s name mid-conversation (we’ve all been there...).
We’ve said it before, but actual deals happen at our conferences thanks to connecting with the right people in the right environment…
2. Being Surrounded by 125+ Smart People
This goes hand-in-hand with the above, but the collective enthusiasm for learning and sharing among everyone present is what made this event so special. Being in an environment where information is shared openly by the people shaping the industry was a priceless experience.
When you can look around your table at a conference and feel like the weakest link, you’re in great company. At least I wasn’t the only one who felt like the dumbest person in the room…
3. The Parties
The Standard was the perfect setting for parties that were lavish (two nights of open bar!) but laid back enough that I got away with not wearing heels (huge plus in my book).
The hotel itself was a conversation piece (I’m still scratching my head over that reversed escalator) and the rooftop afforded some beautiful views of downtown LA. Rumor has it some people ended up in the pool, too…
4. SEO BBQ
While the conference didn’t officially start until Monday, many of us started early at Dr. Mike’s SEO BBQ on Sunday evening. This was a great icebreaker for those of us in town early and an incredibly generous gesture by our host, Dr. Mike. When he first offered to open up his home to everyone attending BlueGlass LA, I’m not sure he expected a crowd large enough to require multiple limo bus pickups!
Thanks to Austin Passy who took some cool pictures (see more of his pics from #SEOBBQ here)…
5. Integrated Content / One Track
The speakers did an excellent job tying all areas of Internet marketing together. This facilitated the entire flow of the conference, especially since so many sessions elaborated on something brought up in an earlier session.
Regardless of the session focus, we were reminded of SEO during a content marketing panel, the importance of hiring a great content team during a linkbuilding panel, and why great content should be the cornerstone of your site during a development session (in case you still haven’t caught on, content is kind of a big deal).
6. Great Food
For me, food makes or breaks an event. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say the food was better than what I’ve had at most weddings. I’m still thinking about that guacamole. And, thanks to a constant supply of energy drinks, I survived my live tweeting duties.
Chris Winfield kicked off the conference with hopes that everyone walks away with 4 “lightbulb moments,” and I think it’s safe to say we all went home with a much longer list.
Below are some memorable quotes and takeaways from each session. Keep in mind some content was for “attendees only,” and the site review session was not blogged. For the complete BlueGlass LA experience, you had to be there ;)
Click the links below to see the full recap for each (somehow, Kelsey Libert liveblogged the entire conference almost verbatim!).
Start removing title tags and see how Google rewrites them. Let Google give you hints on what they think is best. - Greg Boser
Takeaway from Greg: Setup rel=author. Get rid of personas and ghostwriters, instead hire writers with a huge reach who will influence people in the SERPs.
Structured data WON’T fix your other SEO problems. – Jeff Preston
Takeaway from Jeff: Use Schema.org and Open Graph to tell Google what type of content something is and stand out in the SERPs.
If your product sucks, a celebrity isn’t going to make it better. - Mark Suster
Takeaway from Mark: Despite rapid changes, Internet marketing will continue to favor those who are integrated, targeted, personal and measurable.
Each landing page should only have 1 objective and 1 objective only. Focus the entire page around it. - Jason Nazar
Takeaway from Jason: Headlines are what get people to take actions on landing pages. Headline text should be brief but descriptive and aggressively tested.
I don’t need a billion users. I need a thousand awesome users. - Chris Brogan
Takeaway from Chris: Effective email marketing is brief, doesn’t use html formatting, and a gets a human response when someone replies.
There is no silver bullet, there’s just execution. – Brian Clark
Takeaway from Brian: Have an audience first mentality. Get your audience’s attention, then let them tell you what they want.
Act fast and do something radical. – Dennis Goedegebuure
Takeaway from Dennis: Understanding the communities on news aggregator sites can lead to extremely high traffic on your news stories.
Stick with the original URL. When you update the story, it resets the clock in Google News. – Aaron Chronister, on news stories that will be continuously updated
Takeaway from Aaron: Breaking news doesn’t have to be long; a paragraph will do and then continue updating.
The best links I’ve ever gotten are through business development. - Jamie Steven
Takeaway from Jamie: Create exceptional content, and the rest will fall into place.
When you ask for a link, don’t ask for a link. - Jon Henshaw
Takeaway from Jon: Relationship building is the new linkbuilding. Use the tools to track down the right people, connect in a sincere way, and the links will follow.
Let’s not forget SEO is organic ad rating. – Marty Weintraub
Takeaway from Marty: Comparing Google Analytics data with the same page in Webmaster tools can recover 20-30% of missing keywords.
If you think “not provided” is bad now, it’s very likely that eventually 100% of that entire system will be gone. – Alan Bleiweiss
Takeaway from Alan: Focus on the data that’s been around forever and not going anywhere: direct visits, other search sources, referrer sites, PPC and existing page titles.
Good content is about your customer…declare war on their top 10 problems and you will have content forever. – Sonia Simone
Takeaway from Sonia: Don’t listen to what your customers say about you, listen to what they say about your industry.
The greatest lover is a reformed hater. - Peter Shankman on the power of turning negative customer experiences into positive
Takeaway from Peter: Embrace the concept, not the brand. Understanding your audience will lead you to the next greatest thing.
Tap proven ideas. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. – Dan Tynski
Takeaway from Dan: Audience is everything. If you’re not getting your content in front of the right audience, you’re hurting your chances for success.
Tweet interesting and relevant shit. - Hiten Shah on how KISSMetrics grew a Twitter following with zero budget
Takeaway from Hiten: Stop copying what’s worked for others. Only through your own tests can you determine what works for your audience.
The more options you give your site visitors, the more you paralyze them. - Andrew Norcross
Takeaway from Andrew: Focus on the things that really matter on your site: content, design, speed, and SEO.
Design every site mobile first. Then don’t add too much after that. - Joost de Valk
Takeaway from Joost: Using a plugin is like giving a developer the keys to your house; you are giving them admin access to your site. Only use plugins from trusted developers.
Until Next Time…
If you’re like us, you want to keep reliving the event. Check out all of the pictures here and also read some different perspectives on BlueGlass LA:
- 50 Tips & Takeaways from BlueGlass LA
- LAist Interview: Tech Marketing Guru Chris Winfield
- An Example of a Well Executed Event
- Mixing a Cocktail of Great People & Online Marketing Smarts
- 10 Takeaways from BlueGlass LA - Part 1 & Part 2
- A Quick BlueGlass LA Recap
If you had a great time or wish you had been there, come join us in sunny Tampa on December 3 & 4 when we do it all over again! You can sign up here for details :)
What was your favorite part of BlueGlass LA? What were your “lightbulb moments”? Let us know in the comments below!