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SES Talkback Preview

10:30 – 11:30am: Understanding the Mobile Customer Journey

Jason Wells, CEO ContactPoint, Twitter1. Tell us about your first SES conference experience. When was it and what did you take away from it?

My first time speaking at an SES conference was at SES New York earlier this year, just before we launched LogMyCalls. And honestly, my first impression was that this is a very, very sharp, intelligent and cutting edge crowd. It was invigorating to be with a group of people that are simply trying to optimize their SEM, SEO, and mobile marketing.

I attended a number of sessions at SES New York (in addition to my own) and then again at SES Toronto. The speakers are top-notch and the information is very useful.

If you’ve never been to an SES show, you should definitely come to San Francisco.

2. Without giving too much away before the conference, what is meant by the ‘Mobile Customer Journey’?

Well, there are a few different elements involved. First, our data shows clearly that mobile marketers really don’t understand how to engage with mobile users. Marketers are still trying to generate form fill-outs for lead gen or lengthy product descriptions on a mobile device. That just doesn’t work. What does work? Phone calls, video and maps. Those are the things people want to do on their mobile phone.

We’re going to talk about generating mobile customer response, optimizing mobile, mobile analytics and everything else in between.

And, keep in mind, this is the first SES Talkback session SES has ever done. It is going to be more informal, more discussion-based and more focused on helping the attendees. If attendees want to take the discussion a certain way, that’s the way it will go.

3. What would you say the fundamental differences between Mobile Marketing and Other Online Marketing.


I know that’s an easy answer, but in many ways it is true. For example, online marketers are measuring CTR, landing page conversion rates, abandon rates, etc. On the other hand, mobile marketers need to track phone calls, call analytics and close rates.

The fundamental thing to remember with mobile marketing is this: mobile marketing is about driving response—especially phone calls. When someone finds you via mobile they enter the sales funnel at a significantly lower spot. They are ready to buy (or, at the very least, ready to talk to a real person). Keep in mind, Google says that 61% of local mobile searches result in a phone call. That means more businesses are going to get more phone calls. And that’s a good thing! Phone calls convert 15 to 20 times more frequently than web leads.

4. >Why did you decide to leave Sony and to work for ContactPoint?

At Sony Pictures I oversaw all international mobile marketing. From that vantage point, you get to see a lot of the opportunity and potential mobile marketing has. I was particularly impressed by call activity we were seeing in certain parts of the world—Finland for example. It is one of the leading, cutting edge mobile markets in the world. I looked at that and saw a lot of potential with phone calls generated by mobile marketing.

ContactPoint was in a position to introduce real call metrics of data that matter to demand generation advertisers. It was early at the time, but I love to be in on the cutting edge of new technologies…especially new technologies that have the potential to change mobile marketing. So I jumped! And now we are rockin’ and rollin’. Things are going great just 3 months into our LogMyCalls launch. I love it!

5. What session are you most looking forward to and why?

I’m actually moderating another session called ‘Mobile Marketing Tactics’ on Tuesday, August 14 at 11:45. There are some major heavy hitters in the industry talking about mobile at that session. I’ll be guiding the discussion. I’ve seen some of the presos the panelists are going to present. It will be very good.

1:30 – 2:30pm: How To Take Your Blog To The Next Level

John Rampton, Founder, Blog, Twitter, Google +1. Tell us about your first SES conference experience. When was it and what did you take away from it?

This is actually my first every SES conference. I have been to several other industry conferences but this is my first SES conference.

2. What is this ‘next level’ that you are going to be discussing come SES SF?

I’m going to be discussing some of the key points of blogging. Basically, how to take your blog to the next level. I have been a pro blogger through the years, starting several blogs, blogging for companies like SEJ, SEWatch, my PPC blog as well as learning how bloggers work with

I’m going to go through the steps of why a company needs a blog, how to promote it, how to get engagement, and how to get customers from it.

3. How has the rise of social media sites like Facebook & Tumblr affected the blogging world? Are traditional blogs becoming endangered or getting a more social way to share their content?

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all other social media platforms have affected interaction a ton. Now you need to be doing that or your post and blog won’t show up in the SERP’s like they did before. You have to be doing social media or you won’t rank. It’s growing and I think will grow bigger and bigger each year. If you as a business aren’t doing it, you are stupid. Do it and don’t just go and dip your toes into it, post as often as possible.

4. As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs? In particular, those interested in the online marketing industry.

I would tell other entrepreneurs to just go DO IT. Stop waiting around for things to happen. Most people sit around and do nothing and when they see a good idea, they think: If only I’d thought of that or I came up with that 2 years ago. Then why didn’t you build it? Cause you’re too lazy. Just do things. Start working now. Start today

5. What session are you most looking forward to and why?

I’m a blogger and paid search guy so I’m looking forward to many of the sessions on paid search. I love learning all the little things people are doing to make their clients more money. Love listening to experts on the subject talk about effective strategies in the online marketing world. I’ll probably hit up a few SEO and Social sessions as well as I love that stuff as well.

1:30 – 2:30pm: How To Take Your Blog To The Next Level

Erick Mott, Blogger,, Twitter1. Tell us about your first SES conference experience. When was it and what did you take away from it?

My first SES was in San Jose in the early to mid 2000s. I can’t remember the exact date but do remember thinking how critical search was for online/digital success then and going forward. There were exceptional speakers who were experts and I recall taking away some “TO- DOs” for the team I was working with at the time. I also met David Weinberger, co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto book, during the event and we had a drink after one of the session. It was the book’s launch from that event, if I recall correctly. Both that SES event and book were instrumental in my thinking and work going forward.

2.  What is this ‘next level’ that you are going to be discussing come SES SF?

The next level simply refers to the fact that all companies need to invest more in staff and resources to benefit from community and social media initiatives. And people expect more from brands and publishers via these channels. Better content, more responsive/real-time, better continuity across channels, etc. Essentially, it’s time to take social media from cool to critical, as discussed in this blog post and video with Nate Elliott of Forrester Research; and David Armano of Edelman has it right when he discusses the need for all organizations to employ intrapreneurs to help identify, guide and execute these increases in investments and staff.

3. How has the rise of social media sites like Facebook & Tumblr affected the blogging world? Are traditional blogs becoming endangered or getting a more social way to share their content?

To each is own. If your customers, prospects and partners are on Facebook and Tumblr — then you need to be there (staffed) as a business creating for, engaging and supporting the community. Of course, there is some prioritization given what you have to work with. Blogging, whether traditional or micro, are all part of an integrated or content marketing / engagement strategy. My recommendation is to understand your target audience, segment as appropriate and publish/engage.

4. What inspired you to construct creatorbase?

My days at Sun Microsystems, and seeing where the Internet/Web were headed including some Net Effect value creation, got me thinking about a subscription SaaS site I launched in 2002 called The application included a blog profile, virtual office, community center for projects and ability to invite up to 50 guests to collaborate with 1 paying member — was essentially blogging, virtual offices and crowdsourcing all in one. But, didn’t get funded because I didn’t make a good technology decision at the time. However, I did actually collect some subscription fees from members and we worked on a few projects that included blogging to help get the word out. Here’s a screen shot.

Since I trademarked “creatorbase” and “Your space to create.” — I decided to simplify by using Typepad for the blogging tool and other related social channels. The true inspiration then and now are to grow and engage a community of creators (we’re all creators in our own domains and given all the tools like computers, smartphones, tablets and the web) to create value for others and help creatorbase community members achieve some level of independence as a domain expert/collaborator. Goal is to make it, “Your space to create.®”

5. What session are you most looking forward to and why?

I am looking forward to many sessions on the agenda and especially ours given that I’ll be co-presenting with John Rampton — a search expert, entrepreneur and all around good guy. We’re going to have fun and we’re going to give the audience something that they can use starting the next day.

2:45 – 3:45pm: Search, Social, and Mobile in Asia

Adaline Lau, Editor, ClickZ Asia, Twitter1. Tell us about your first SES conference experience. When was it and what did you take away from it?

First SES Conference experience was at SES SF 2010. It was massive – there were so many sessions I wanted to attend but only one of me. I met many knowledgeable and smart people at the conference and took away tips and advice that proved to be helpful when I return to Asia – Hong Kong.

2. How significant are the cultural differences when considering the Asia markets?

First of all, Asia is not a homogeneous region. China is vastly different from India to Australia to Hong Kong and Japan. Then there are the emerging markets like Indonesia and Vietnam. Each country is different culturally, so do their online habits. For instance, most people in the West might say a prayer before they eat. In Asia, particularly the Chinese, it’s very common to see them take a picture of their food and post on to the social networks before they eat.

3. How does the balance of importance between Search, Social, and Mobile differ in Asian markets compared with American and European markets?

I am not familiar with the European markets. But in America, the key players for search and social would typically be Google, Facebook and Twitter. In Asia markets, in search for instance, Baidu dominates China, Naver in South Korea and Yahoo in Hong Kong. For social in China, key players would include Sina Weibo and Renren. Increasingly, search, social and mobile cannot be looked at in silos as search players are increasingly tapping the mobile markets and social as well. For instance, China’s Twitter – Sina Weibo has more users using its platform from their mobile devices than desktops. Baidu also has plans to build a mobile phone for the China market. The two Internet giants – Baidu and Sina recently announced a mobile search partnership with a focus on mobile in the country. So search, social and mobile are all coming together.

4. How do you think being a report and journalist, affects your approach to Online Marketing?

As a journalist, I am fortunate to meet a wide variety of interactive marketers from agency professionals, brand marketers to vendors that are working in this constantly evolving digital space. I cannot emphasize enough that there are at least 19 markets in the Asia region and each of them are vastly different, so I am always learning something new whenever I have a conversation with these practitioners. Motoko Hunt, Asia president for SEMPO will also be on the same panel as me. She will be able to share more from a practitioner perspective during the session.

5. What session are you most looking forward to and why?

Solomo, Big Data and Pinterest among many others. These are up and coming trends and I believe marketers in Asia would be interested to learn more from the matured markets.

4:00 – 5:00pm: SEO 2013 – the Future of Search

Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR, Twitter1. Tell us about your first SES conference experience. When was it and what did you take away from it?

My first SES conference was Search Engine Strategies Spring 2002 in Boston. Back then, the event featured speakers from 14 crawler-based and human-powered search engines: About, AltaVista, AOL, Ask Jeeves/Teoma, FAST/AllTheWeb, FindWhat, Google, Inktomi, LookSmart, Lycos, MSN, Netscape/The Open Directory, Overture (GoTo), and Yahoo. There were sessions about “Understanding Paid Inclusion” and “Cloaking & Doorways.” And I interviewed the keynote speaker, Aaron Schatz, for my first Search Engine Watch article, “You Can Observe A Lot by Watching the Lycos 50.” What I initially took away is ancient history. This industry has changed so dramatically that 90 percent of what I learned a decade ago is now obsolete. But more than a dozen of the people that I met at my first SES conference have become friends and colleagues. That’s why I have attended SES conferences each and every year since then to (1) keep up-to-date with industry trends, (2) see new products and services, and (3) maintain and build relationships. These are the long-term take-aways that are still relevant.

2. Are there any SEO practices still widely used that you believe will be outdated and potentially harmful this time next year?

Absolutely! Some we already know and others we’ll learn about over the next 12 months. Here are three SEO practices that are still widely used but are already outdated. First, too many SEOs are still narrowly focused on optimizing websites for Google and Bing. Even though most of us know that YouTube is the second largest search engine, too many SEOs still don’t know how to optimize a YouTube video’s title, description, tags, and captions as well as how to optimize playlists and YouTube channels. SEOs can’t wait until this time next year to refocus their content optimization strategies on “getting found” by users through any medium – not just the traditional search engines. Second, new research from Linkdex has found that rankings change significantly based on the location where the search was made.

So, if you’re checking your rankings in one location (e.g. San Francisco) you don’t have a full picture of your ranking across the whole country. You can’t wait until this time next year to learn how geo-rankings impact SEO, particularly when organic rankings are used as a KPI of your SEO campaigns. Third, too many SEOs started using press releases back in late 2004 and early 2005 when they appeared to be a new SEO back door to top rankings. But most of them abandoned this practice when they discovered that links in press releases don’t pass PageRank. However, links in press releases can drive traffic, generate leads, and increase sales. And these metrics are more likely to help you increase your SEO budget and get a promotion than cranking out more ranking reports. So, can you really afford to wait until this time next year to rediscover press release optimization?

3. How do you see the Role of SEO changing as Social Media and Mobile Marketing continue to rise in importance?

The role of SEO started changing in 2003 with the dramatic increase in the number of blogs and it continued changing rapidly after Facebook was launched in 2004, YouTube was launched in 2005, and Twitter was launched in 2006. Ten years ago, the only people who could give you links to increase your site’s ranking were webmasters. Then, bloggers started generating significantly more links than webmasters. Next, Google and Bing started using “social signals” to help rank regular search results. So, just as the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution granted African American men the right to vote, the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, and the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18, the rising importance of blogs and other social media have extensively expanded the number of people who can help to increase your site’s ranking.

Although webmasters are still a core group of “voters,” excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”) is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact your site’s ranking in search results. On the other hand, blogger outreach and social media engagement aren’t traditional SEO roles and PR people may be better suited to handle these new activities. Mobile marketing is also about to fundamentally change the role of SEO. According to IDC, “By 2015, more U.S. Internet users will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or other wireline devices.” This means optimizing your content for smartphones and tablets will soon become more important than optimizing it for desktops and laptops. This is not your father’s SEO, but it does play to a webmaster’s customary strengths. So, I expect the transition of SEO to mobile marketing will be smoother than the one to social media has been so far.

4.  As a history major, how did you find yourself in the SEO & PR sectors?

At the University of Michigan, I learned that Thucydides regarded history as being the product of the choices and actions of human beings, and looked at cause and effect, rather than seeing events as the result of divine intervention. In SEO, this perspective has helped me to focus on delivering high-quality news, videos, and other content to human beings and not to focus too much on what I think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals. In PR, this perspective has also helped me to see that providing journalists and bloggers with useful and timely news information gets you farther faster than waiting for divine intervention.

As for how I found myself in the SEO and PR sectors after graduating from the University of Michigan in 1971, that’s a long story. If you want to examine and analyze the sequence of events, and investigate objectively the patterns of cause and effect that determined how I got here, I recommend you read my 2003 article on, “Search Engines and the History of Public Relations” or the 2005 article on, “Greg Jarboe – Where are you today?” You can also read Chapter 9 of Online Marketing Heroes: Interviews with 25 Successful Online Marketing Gurus by Michael Miller (Wiley, 2008), or Chapter 5 of Complete B2B Online Marketing by William Leake, Lauren Vaccarello, and Maura Ginty (Sybex, 2012).

5. What session are you most looking forward to and why?

If you don’t count the sessions where I’m speaking or moderating, which I’m also looking forward to, then it would have to be the opening keynote, “Business Optimization in a Digital Age,” by Avinash Kaushik, the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google. Despite the fact that he’s a Buckeye from The Ohio State University, while I am a Wolverine from the University of Michigan, I never miss an opportunity to hear him speak. According to the SES San Francisco agenda, “We were promised that Marketing one day would become rocket science.

Well, we are almost there! Search continues to become more complicated, and more exciting. Then there’s Social and Email and Display and Video and… so many more things. It is hard to understand how to do one thing right, much less try to do all of them right. In his exciting keynote Avinash will share his unique perspective on balancing multiple media channels, leveraging super awesome metrics, grounding your digital existence in driving economic value, and leveraging the Clear Line of Sight model to ensure you are optimizing across all four of the most important business drivers (come to his keynote to learn which four!).”

So readers, will you be attending an SES talkback session?

Let us know in the comments below.


Category SEO
Justin Stein

Justin Stein is one of the first, Second Generation Online Marketers. His father Jonah Stein is a literal giant within ...

SES Talkback Preview

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