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FEATURE: Attend SMX West for Inspiration, Education and Network Building

by Virginia Nussey, February 27, 2014

Audience: Business owner, marketing manager, in-house, agency or consultant marketer

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Takeaways:

  • If you care about your online visibility in 2014, attend a major digital marketing education event this quarter, such as SMX West or Pubcon South.
  • At SMX West you can get a foundation in SEO at Bruce Clay's one-day training workshop.
  • Google SVP of Search, Amit Singhal, shares the search engine's vision of businesses reaching consumers in new ways online at the SMX West keynote.

“Bruce Clay led the way on quality SEO based on sound intelligence and long-lasting value way before it was fashionable to do so.” —David Amerland, author of Google Semantic Search

It's part of our company mission to be a leader in SEO and search marketing education. Of course it's not pure altruism; an educated industry and business community is in our best interests as a technical, white hat SEO service provider.

As proponents of SEO education we've supported the SMX conference series since its beginning — one of the very first event sponsors, Bruce will tell you. The SMX conference series is among the top opportunities for professional development through education and networking for those looking to invest in increased brand visibility online. The first U.S. SMX conference of 2014 takes place in less than two weeks in San Jose, Calif. And there are so many reasons for you — business owner, marketing manager, in-house, agency or consultant marketer — to be there.

Get Up to Speed in a New/Adjacent Online Marketing Field

You're a big picture person. You want to know enough about all the moving parts so you can see how the gears turn off each other. You need to speak intelligently to specialists as you direct your business or team toward achievement of overall goals.

Or, you're a master in your marketing discipline and you've decided it's time to deepen your knowledge of related fields. You know that doing so will strengthen your position as an expert, make your strategies more effective, and empower you to collaborate.

At SMX you can get a foundation in SEO, SEM, social media marketing or big picture digital marketing in a day from a workshop or boot camp track:

  • SEO Training Workshop: The one-day workshop Bruce presents will impart an advanced understanding of technical ranking requirements within search engines' ever-changing technologies and guidelines.
  • Search Marketing Boot Camp: Penguin-adjusted link building; keyword research for copywriting; search friendly web design
  • Social Media Boot Camp: social media etiquette; how to best leverage social media with paid options
  • Digital Marketing Summit Boot Camp: content marketing and publishing considerations for brands; video and viral; the trust-based elements of local search

The Digital Marketing Summit track is debuting this conference and features an experimental new format: TED-style solo presentations on forward-looking themes and trends from a top expert on the subject. As part of our liveblogged conference coverage, look for reports from Boot Camp and the new Digital Marketing Summit on the blog.

If you attend all the sessions of a single SMX Boot Camp track, you'll have a foundational understanding of that topic that you can use immediately and build off. And as proof of your accomplishment, you'll have a certificate of completion to show for it.

See the Future of Google in Headlining Keynote: SVP of Search Amit Singhal

You may have also seen our feature profile of Amit Singhal, the headlining keynote speaker, the man in charge of Google's search engine ranking algorithms since 2000. At SXSW last year Singhal was interviewed by Guy Kawasaki, super-star marketer of the digital age and social media personality. In just the first 10 minutes of that hour-long discussion, Singhal shared:

  • Google's dream for its future form — that is, to be the Star Trek computer.
  • The various signals in Google's ranking algorithms. (He's unsurprisingly dodgy.)
  • The composition of pages and activity on the World Wide Web.
  • Insight into how queries have changed over the last 15 years. (Queries are continually more challenging for Google to answer.)
  • What increased mobile usage has meant for the evolution of Google.

Imagine what you'll get from an hour-long prodding by Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land editor-in-chief. You can find more strategy-shaping takeaways from Singhal and familiarize yourself with his role and work before Sullivan hits the Google Search SVP with a fresh set of questions during the SMX keynote conversation on March 11.

Grow Your Professional Network

Does this ring a bell? You read hundreds of marketing related blog posts and articles a week, but nothing comes close to the thought-solidifying effect of a conversation with a comparably impassioned colleague.

In Should You Attend a Search Marketing Conference in 2014? BCI's Chelsea Adams expresses the cross we bear as search nerds, and the fix that fills this need in office get-togethers, various meetups and events like SMX:

  • Do you feel like screaming “Nobody understands me!” like a teenage girl every time your coworkers’ eyes gloss over in the middle of your conversation about the latest algorithm update?
  • Do you love the conversations you’re having with industry leaders in Google+, but often think of the left arm you’d give to actually have a face-to-face conversation with them?
  • Do you wish you could walk into a giant Ikea-like store that only carries search marketing tools and casually browse the aisles of options, stopping to ask attendants for demos and help as needed?

And so, the value of SMX networking opportunities, conversations and community can't be overstated. At this show, there are a handful of happenings that deserve special highlighting:

  • Monday night's Meet & Greet sponsored by Bruce Clay, Inc. Drinks on us from 6-7 in the Marriott's second-floor ballroom foyer.
  • Morning yoga Tuesday through Thursday: "Social matworking" where you can yoga with me, a 7-months pregnant conference attendee!
  • Search Engine Journal Wednesday Meetup: Be at Mosaic Lounge between 7 and 9 pm to decompress and get social. Pre-register because the first 200 get in free.
  • SMX After Dark party Thursday at Motif Lounge: The spot to bop to the beat of a heady convo or the DJ's dance mix. Third Door Media will be collecting donations for digital marketer Dana Lookadoo's recovery fund following a critical injury last November.

SMX West is the first major search and social marketing event of 2014. It's a unique opportunity for professional development through education and networking and for everyone looking to invest in increased brand visibility online this year. We're proud to bring the conference home to those not in attendance with liveblog coverage. But we truly do hope to see you there. If you haven't registered yet, BRUCECLAYSMXW14 is a code that discounts the cost of any pass and workshop.

For permission to reprint or reuse any materials, please contact us. To learn more about our authors, please visit the Bruce Clay Authors page. Copyright © 2014 Bruce Clay, Inc.