Charlotte Search Exchange- Day 1

I've been in the search game since I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill back in 2005. In the past five years, I've been to many internet conferences to educate myself on the best ways to maximize your website's exposure... including:

Direct Marketing Association
Charlotte SEO Meetup

Yesterday, we wrapped up the first day of the Charlotte Search Exchange Internet Marketing Conference. It was definitely different then most seminars & conferences I attend because there was a lot of tapdancing around some issues.

For example, most speakers would present information about what they do, and spend only small amounts of time on how they do it. As an entreprenuer, hearing about what someone else does isn't the best way for me to learn how to maximize my business or my online potential.

It might just be the type of learner I am. The best speaker, for me, is the one who walks up on stage and spends the next 90 minutes outlining bullet points on what tactics worked for their sites:

Rollover images increased conversion x%
Adding this word in my PPC terms increasing click thru rates by y%
By adding more content and increasing my internal linking structure, we were able to increase our rankings

One of my favorite speakers of all time is Amy Afrika with Three by Three media. She blew me away at the Direct Marketer's Association show in Atlanta in the summer of 2005. She walked up there and gave everyone about 200 action items in an hour... and ran out of time.

But back to the search exchange show... the speaker I most enjoyed was Jon Boykin of He shared some very unique ways that he's built links for his clients.

Today, we'll be discussing how to quantify social media efforts. I've sat in on several seminars on this and am no closer to mastering it than when I first began. Hopefully that will change now.



I'm a big fan of Jim Boykin's presentations as well. Wil Reynolds is also quite good for the same reasons. They provide specific, tangible, actionable information. Not just strategic generalizations.

That all said, I would present that all of the "conferences" tend to be more high-level, generic, strategic in nature and less "here's exactly what I did and how it worked". By this I mean PubCon, SES, etc. Sounds like you would put Search Exchange into that boat. By comparison, StomperNet tends to be quite the opposite.

What did you think of the participants? For me, the biggest value I get out of any conference are the one-on-one conversations at the bar afterwards. That's where I find the nuggets - rather than via the presentations.

I am really appreciating very much by seeing your interesting posts.

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