It may have been Vegas, a jam packed day 1, or a combination of both,but the exhaustion everyone was feeling at day 2 of Pubcon was tangible. However, that didn’t in any way affect anyone’s level of excitement, as everyone was just as eager to be there.
As they should have been, because day 2 was loaded with quality sessions and world class keynote speakers. Chris Brogan kicked off the morning with the first of two keynotes.
Morning Keynote: Chris Brogan
Brogan brought his unique and infectious personality to the stage to deliver this morning’s keynote aimed to inspire entrepreneurs to take more control over their life. Entrepreneurs waste too much time on things that aren’t making them money, Brogan argues, and they need to start cutting out the things that don’t matter.
As Brogan puts it, that’s called owning your life. Another way for entrepreneurs to own their life is to sell more product and make more money. Brogan detailed the ways he has been growing his empire over the past few years in hope that those in attendance can learn from his experience and do they same for their business.
Session: Let’s Talk Hummingbird & The Entity Search Revolution
This session was presented by Marcus Tober of SearchMetrics, Rhea Drysdale of Outspoken Media, and Dave Lloyd of Adobe. With Hummingbird, it’s no longer about keywords anymore: that’s something that was unanimously agreed upon by the whole panel. It’s time to focus on customer-centric topics by intent.
Writing comprehensively about topics that your brand uniquely owns is what it takes to bring in targeted traffic on a wide variety of keywords in your niche. Another way to tackle Hummingbird is to use new keyword research tools like Google Autocomplete, LSI Keywords, and Uber Suggest to find out what people are searching for.
The panel also presented ways to optimize for Hummingbird with technical SEO. Making liberal use of Schema.org markup was highly recommended, as was ensuring your site is responsive and optimized for speed.
This session, along with every Pubcon session, was capped off with a lively Q&A. Everyone in attendance ate up the knowledge and couldn’t wait to ask follow up questions. Hey, when you have so much combined experience in one room, you’d be crazy not to!
Afternoon Keynote: Jason Calacanis of Inside.com
According to other Pubcon attendees I have been talking to, Calacanis has reputation for being a controversial speaker. That being said, I had no idea what to expect from this keynote. What I got was a crash course on the future of everything.
The future of SEO and the future of marketing were discussed, as well as things like the future of food and the future of work. Calacanis painted a picture of a future where the job market is booming due to the modern services being invented today (like Uber, Lyft, etc.) that didn’t even exist just a few years ago.
Fascinating? Absolutely. Controversial? Not nearly as much as I was expecting, but he certainly presented some extreme ideas that could be left open for debate.
So what goes on in the convention hall that you would never know about unless you were actually there? Well, a lot of searching around for available outlets is one thing. Even though we’re all in Vegas for a conference, work must go on and deadlines need to be met. People were fitting work in wherever and whenever they could.
Up and down the hallways, were people on laptops plugging away at client work, even myself included at some point. It’s important not to get too wrapped up in Las Vegas and lose track of the work you would otherwise be doing if you were at the office, or at home, or wherever you conduct business.
It’s also important to get work out of the way during the daytime hours so your evening is free. It is Vegas after all, you need to make time for a little fun!
US Search Awards
Speaking of fun, the second annual US Search Awards took place tonight in conjunction with Pubcon, recognizing the best in SEO, PPC, and digital marketing. Everyone stepped out of character for one evening to dress up in full formal wear and celebrate each other’s achievements over the past year.
I don’t think it can be argued that Marty Weintraub, last year’s US Search Personality Of The Year winner, stole the show when he took the stage proudly wearing a tiara ready to pass it on to this year’s winner.
Bing’s Duane Forrester happily accepted the award, and the tiara, for this year’s US Search Personality Of The Year. Other stand outs included Katie Donabedian, who took home the Young Search Professional of the Year award, and The Absolut Company who took home the Grand Prix award.
After the awards ceremony we all couldn’t resist dominating the on-site photo booth for a while before retiring to a craps table in the hotel casino. To see photos and posts from the event, check out the hashtag #ussearchawards on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
The third and final day of Pubcon Las Vegas is fast approaching, so make sure to come back for more live coverage of one of the leading marketing conventions of the year.