Day 2 of the Small Business Marketing Unleashed event and I’m not supposed to be blogging or twittering about the content as much of it is so deep and personal to many of us – but hey – I can’t resist. Naturally – I won’t blog about anything that I should not, so here’s my summary of what I saw and learned today. As part of today’s workshops attendees were asked to submit their sites for discussion during each session. We only got to discuss two or three during each session, but the results were amazing.
First up was from Heather Lloyd-Martin on Keyword and Content – Heather helped us understand how about Keywords, how they work and how the search engines find us. She went on to demonstrate some cool tools that will allow you to enter keywords and find out which ones are the words that people are using to search on. With this information you can better build the content on your site so that it hits more and more of the engines with the keywords that people want. End result is greater traffic to your site. One of the sites we looked at was a traditional IT support company. Heather had them explain to the group about their business. One of the key aspects of this company was that they were geeks with personality. This led to a discussion and resulted in them thinking seriously about all aspects of their business, including the uniform, and alternate domain names that they might use to point to their website. Amazing stuff… the room was buzzing with excitement as we collectively brainstormed on the issues at hand.
Second was a workshop presented by Sage Lewis from Sagerock on Building Communities. Now this is not what I expected to be honest, it’s showing me a different angle of what I have traditionally considered to be community. It positioned community, not as a support structure that most of us SBSers think of, but more as a potential audience for your product or service. It’s giving me ideas that right now might not be directly translatable to the community, but are starting the thought process going so it’s been really good! I’m planning to do a video interview later today with Sage and you’ll be able to see that this guy is really on a different plane when it comes to vibe and excitement.
Third workshop was a site clinic and was presented by Sage Lewis and Stoney deGeyter with contributions by Mack Collier. The aim of this workshop was that you would submit your pride and joy website and the experts would analyse it and provide useful input on how you could improve it. We looked at three websites including my own www.sbsfaq.com and one VERY large / well respected website in the Small Business market. It was very interesting for me to see the issues that I faced compared to those of larger more established sites. I had in mind a plan of what I was thinking to do with SBSfaq.com and after the somewhat brutal analysis of the site by these experts, I’ve thrown out more than 50% of it and will take on board their thoughts and recommendations to improve both the site and the content contained within it. I say that these guys were "brutal" but I mean it in the most positive context possible as all of their suggestions were VERY constructive.
The Wrap Up
This event was one of the best conferences I’ve been to in a long time. My hat is off to Jennifer Laycock and her team for organising was was a VERY smooth first event. It had none of the telltale signs of being a first run event either which was very surprising. The buzz around the event, talking to the delegates was amazing. Delegates ranged from Small Business owners wanting to make their own website do better in the rankings to other SEO and Web Design companies striving to learn from the masters in the industry. The range of talent in the speakers was incredible too, some of the information they conveyed was truly eye opening. Thank you and watch out for news of the next time this will be run.