Wait, you're blogging about and linking to your competitors?
Yes. We love competition. It drives us to be better all the time, and there are more than enough companies that need good search marketing help. In fact, heard about Portent Interactive? They are another great agency in Seattle. See how that works? Chris, Brent, Loren, and Dave are awesome guys. We all talk regularly and consider them good friends.
Did we really need ANOTHER conference?
I know, like a hole in the head right? Just wait. This conference, like SearchExchange and the SEOmoz PRO Seminar, is focused on a geographic region and smaller. These new breed of conferences are focused on business owners and entrepreneurs and their needs.
BlueGlass covered everything from VC funding to SEO site reviews. It was refreshing to hear new ideas as well as new material. Here are my 3 takeaways.
1. Title Tags and Your Audience (Vanessa Fox)- This is one of the oldest tips in search engine marketing, but understanding your audience is crucial. Using terms for your title tag that they are using to search for your product is best. Your internal verbiage is of no matter to end users. Use your title tag for three things: a) optimization (letting the robots know what the page is about) b) relevance (identify the page topic to draw the right traffic) and c) marketing (think of it as your headline, get their ATTENTION!)
2. When community building, leave your shoes at the door (JR Johnson)
JR made an excellent point in that your community is what you make of it. If you don't want spammers, be vigilant about logins and linking. If you don't want trolls (impossible really) then make it known that it won't be tolerated. People will do what they are shown. JR used the shoes at the door example, I use the public transportation example. When getting on a new bus, train, etc., people will follow those in front of them setting the example. Set the best example and most will follow that example.
Be the change ... and all.
3. The Data in Webmaster Tools is not 100% Accurate (Marshall Simmonds) - As we have mentioned before, the more we explore the data within Google Webmaster Tools, the more we see that it is good to monitor, but not to take seriously. Marshall gave the best example for client by discussing how they saw a marked increase in 404 error reports in Webmaster Tools that were totally false. We have seen clients with this exact issue and it is nice to say that the New York Times has seen the same thing. Online marketing is metrics based, but the metrics out of WMT are just flaky sometimes.
It was a great conference and a great time. But going over every session just isn't possible. Instead here are some links, 2 being different live blogging threads. If you missed it, these two streams caught just about all of it. You can't duplicate the fun times and contacts from a conference, but because of wonderful live bloggers, we do get to read the notes from just about every conference.