Experienced SEOs understand the need for keeping up on changes in the constantly evolving search space. That’s why I’m so passionate about continuing SEO education and training. The upcoming SMX West conference taking place March 2-5 in Santa Clara, CA, is one such opportunity I recommend to fellow advanced-level SEOs.
The advanced-level content that will be shared at SMX West is set to span a variety of fields and specialties, so check out the full agenda for all the offerings. Meanwhile I’ve gone over the agenda with an SEO-focused gaze and I’ve drafted an “Advanced SEO’s Dream Agenda” to be my guide while navigating the presentations, conversations and events at the show.
Tuesday, March 2 – Local SEO and Real-Time Search
The conference kicks off strong with the opening keynote by Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. Any SEO interested in keeping up with latest developments of the search landscape will be in attendance to hear this outspoken officer’s address to the search marketing community. Here’s hoping we learn more about the impending partnership between Bing and Yahoo! and what it could mean for marketers.
As an advanced SEO, one thinks a lot about how various pieces of the Internet marketing puzzle can be leveraged together for greatest effect. That’s why on Day 1, I’ll be taking advantage of the sessions that drill down into the specific SEO areas of local search and real-time search.
I suggest starting the day at Real Time Search & The Major Search Engines followed by Real Time Search: Beyond The Majors. A newly introduced search arena, real-time search results pose new challenges and considerations to SEOs. The first session promises to outline how to optimize content for real-time search and how to avoid being labeled as real-time spam. The following session aims to familiarize the audience with upcoming real-time search tools and opportunities.
In the afternoon, head to Ranking Tactics For Local Search to learn about the ranking factors that help a site rank in local search. I predict that local search is an SEO vertical that will boom in 2010; yet local search is often underappreciated and underutilized by businesses today. Attendees of this session can look forward to learning about crucial local search factors, allowing them to tap into the growing marketing potential of local search.
Vying for the attention of advanced SEOs at the same time is the session Keyword Research: Beyond the Ordinary. If you aren’t dealing with local search optimization in your practice, then you’ll want to hit up this advanced-level session focused on innovative approaches to keyword research. Keyword research is one of the foundational, continuous tasks of SEO. In my experience, you can never know enough about your targeted keywords. Going beyond the ordinary with keyword research may just push your search marketing to the next level.
For the last session of the day I recommend checking out the advanced-level session Supercharging Your Descriptions With Sitelinks. If you’re lucky enough to get them, Sitelinks are a powerful way to give searchers exactly what they’re looking for on your site. Find out how to maximize your odds of obtaining Google Sitelinks in search results, and what to do once you’ve got them.
Of course, after an intense and action-packed Day 1, you’ll find me chatting and kicking back at the SMX West Expo Hall Reception in the evening. Sponsored by Ask.com, the first evening event of the conference holds great conversations and networking in store.
Wednesday, March 3 — Speed, Strength and Universal Search
If Day 1 is dedicated to local search and real-time search, Day 2 of my advanced SEO dream agenda expands upon those areas with sessions about blended search and site speed optimization.
The sessions offered in the morning include the opportunity to learn about Twitter Marketing Tactics. You can also take advantage of cross-channel boosts seen when search and display work together at Search Meet Display; Display Meet Search. Both of these sessions are top-rated from shows past, so you can trust that they’re going to be good. If you’ve already attended either session at a past conference, come by the Bruce Clay, Inc. booth and say hello!
Blended search results changed the game when they were first introduced in 2007, and the use of Engagement Objects™ has been central to my SEO methodology ever since. During Universal & Blended Search Opportunities, SEOs will learn the latest tactics and content types that raise the potential of SERP real estate through engaging, non-text content.
Along with the speed injected into search results through real-time content, Google’s looking to make the Web faster overall. Webmasters must pay special attention to the speed of their site because long load times could hinder the indexing of your site and may even be a factor for rankings. The Need for Speed: Google Says It Matters is a technical SEO session not to be missed.
Also on the technical SEO track, I’d recommend the advanced-level Industrial Strength SEO for search marketers working with enterprise organizations. Large-scale SEO projects present unique technical obstacles as well as challenges of communication and cooperation between team members, executives and stakeholders. Attendees of this session are sure to walk away with actionable recommendations for navigating the landmines of enterprise SEO.
Thursday, March 4 — Pulling It All Together
My must-attend sessions for advanced SEOs on Thursday have something in common — the opportunity to put things in perspective and to get in some serious Q&A. Thursday morning starts with the keynote The State Of The Search Union. Chris Sherman and a panel of experts (I’ve heard from a reliable source that web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik is already confirmed) will discuss where the search industry is today, following one of the most tumultuous and uncertain periods in our history.
Then jump over to Microsoft + Yahoo: What’s It All Mean? to get into the nitty gritty of how the search partnership could change what we do, where we go, and how we approach our roles as search marketers. The revealing big-picture conversations of this morning will put conference attendees in the frame of mind to evaluate and fit together all that’s under the umbrella of Internet marketing today. From there, it’s time to sort through any remaining questions during a series of Q&A sessions.
Ask The Search Engines, Ask The Link Builders and Ask The SEOs will all be taking place in the afternoon. When you’ve gotten what you can from the presentations of accomplished speakers, nothing helps solidify your understanding better than the chance to work through your remaining questions. I’ll be sitting on the expert-stuffed Ask The SEOs panel, eagerly awaiting any questions you’d like answered regarding search engine optimization today.
If you don’t have any questions to ask the SEO panel, or if you asked them on your own time while wandering the exhibit hall, definitely check out the Analytics Action Plans For PPC & SEO session happening at the same time. I’ve predicted that 2010 will be the year of Web analytics. Due to fluctuating search rankings and new universal search features, tracking and measuring activity on your site is critical for success.
Friday, March 5 — SEO Training Course Presented by Bruce Clay
After running around the conference hall for three days, help solidify your understanding of all you learned by settling in for a day of SEO training with me. Bruce Clay’s SEO Training is a full-day, intensive, face-to-face training class.
During the course I share my personal SEO tips and strategies with an intimate group of attendees. You’ll leave knowing exactly how I have helped clients rank and increase visibility and conversions for nearly 15 years. Plus you’ll walk away with a subscription to my full-featured suite of SEO diagnostic tools and a copy of my SEO desk reference guide.
Continuous learning and research are vital to keeping up with the competition. I hope my “Advanced SEO SMX West Dream Agenda” helps to narrow down the incredible learning opportunities offered at next month’s conference. With a pace of change and evolution as fast as you’ll find in the field of SEO, keeping up with the change is part of the job.
Hope to see you in Santa Clara! If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.