It’s been an amazing few days in Tampa- and now that the conference is over, we’ve really had time to reflect and absorb everything that we learned and the relationships that were made.
The thing I absolutely loved about the sessions and speakers we had was the mix of information, from team building to SEO theory, to killer content strategies and how social is affecting (and working together with) search.
I highly recommend you check out all the sessions, but if you’re looking to stick with reading a particular topic (For now. Right? You’ll be back to look at everything) here’s a quick topical breakdown so you can find your faves. Sorry, but there were just some things we weren’t allowed to share. :)
If you were sitting in these sessions, I’m pretty sure your mind was blown. And if it wasn’t, you weren’t paying attention. The panels for these were absolutely amazing.
There was a disturbance in the force…Panda 1.0 – William Sears
- Taking SEO Theory Into Practice featuring Dennis Goedegebuure, Greg Boser (moderator) and William Sears.
- Advanced SEO Clinic – Rae Hoffman-Dolan and Greg Boser
- Link Building in a Post Panda World - Dave Snyder and Ross Hudgens
- The Localization of Search and Its Impact on Online Businesses - Danny Dover and Greg Boser
Content & Publishing Strategy
Content is (pretty much) king. With how quickly search and internet marketing is evolving, having a strong content and publishing strategy is key to reader retention, engagement and social signals. What I loved about this was having Brian Clark (@Copyblogger), Jeremy Schoemaker (@Shoemoney), and Loren Baker (@Lorenbaker) together. It was like watching a discussion of geniuses.
Learning to write great headlines on your day to day blog posts is key – Brian Clark
- Blog & News Optimization: How Publishers Can Dominate Google & Beyond - Jeremy Schoemaker, Brian Clark and Loren Baker (moderator)
- Content Marketing: Squeeze the Most Organic Juice Out of Your Content Strategy – Jon Henshaw and Marty Weintraub
SEO & Social Media
Please don’t say SEO is dead. I beg of you. Social signals are becoming extremely important, as is human engagement, to search and how your brand is viewed by the search engines. Ben and Simon gave excellent presentations on leveraging social, being genuine, and grabbing your audience.
In social media, if you’re not sincere or honest, it’ll be pretty obvious. Lying’s bad, mmmkay? – Ben Cook
- Social & Search – Ben Cook and Simon Heseltine
There was a lot of talk about stalking in these presentations. PPC is all about targeting, and retargeting, the right audience. This panel was excellent and had some great tips for those new to the game, and those who have been playing for a while.
You control how much you stalk people – Pamela Lund
- Advanced PPC and Conversion Driving Tactics - Pamela Lund, Tim Mayer, Kunal Das and Annie Cushing (moderator)
Is your data ugly? Annie tells me mine is all the time. These two turned analytics intricacies into digestible tidbits of information.
Datagasm! – Annie Cushing
- Turn Web Analytics Data into Conversion Driven Gold - Brian Cosgrove and Annie Cushing
Team Building & Leadership
Everybody knows that a great agency or business can’t run without happy, fully involved staff. There are some excellent takeaways on making your office feel like home and building a thriving and growing team for both client and staffing retention. This was a great session with the charming Melanie Mitchell and Richard Zwicky.
Without accountability nobody can succeed. Nobody is responsible. – Richard Zwicky
How to Grow Your Agency or In-House Team to be Amazing - Richard Zwicky and Melanie Mitchell
Hellos, Goodbyes, and Everything in Between
One thing that can’t be captured in writing is the hilariousness and shenanigans that ensued during the conference- including trays of Red Bull, chiropractic adjustments, corn hole and other fun things.
While we can’t recap everything you didn’t see (but definitely overheard), there were many late nights of talking about the industry, sharing knowledge, laughing and bonding. Something we got here was the intimacy of a small (and extremely knowledgeable) group of people that genuinely enjoyed sharing their passion and work.
And now… I’ll leave you with this.
Combing through all the OHs from the conference, I realize that all of them can’t actually be shared (if we had the “no blogging or tweeting this sign during these conversations, it would have been held up about 90% of the time), but just to give you an idea of the hilariousness, here’s a few OHs that were caught:
OH: “Come fix me. Please.”
OH: Didn’t we have a furry party? No we never did.
OH: I know Jon loves tools
OH: I was talking about corn-holing earlier…
OH: Make sure you’re clean and flushed when you do it.
…. and you can always stalk the other ones by searching #BGTPA. :)
All in all, it was an awesome 2 days. We hope you’ll join us next time!
And remember… Charlie likes YOU. :)