Stay Connected Throughout SearchFest 2015

Throughout SearchFest 2015 on Friday February 27, 2015 we’ll be bringing you updates to the action with live-tweets on-location and overviews of many of the event seminars via our blog. Follow us on Twitter @NetBizSEM and follow the event via #SearchFest and @SEMpdx to keep your finger on the pulse of SearchFest 2015. We’re also an event sponsor this year and we’ll be at our booth in The Sentinel Hotel (formerly The Governor Hotel) for the majority of the day from 7am-6pm during the conference, so come by and say hi.

SearchFest Overview

SearchFest is an annual Portland digital marketing conference showcasing some of the best minds in digital marketing. At SearchFest you’ll be able to get actionable insights on some of the most  progressive strategies currently being utilized by industry experts today. Discover the latest in search engine marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, community development, mobile marketing, and more. If you’re attending SearchFest, but can’t make all of the events, or if you’re unable to come to SearchFest this year, then this is a great place to discover some of the key takeaways from many of the seminars that you may miss.

Here are the seminars we’ll be providing coverage for:

If you see a link from one of these events, it means our blog coverage is posted. Click the link, take a look, and feel free to offer your own insights in the comments of the post (whether you attended the event or not).

For each seminar that we’re covering we’ll provide you with a brief overview of why the topic is important to your business, who the speakers are, why you should trust them, the key takeaways of what they cover at SearchFest, and where you can find more from each presenter. Below you’ll find a brief overview of each course we’ll be covering at SearchFest and what you can expect to learn.

What to Expect from each SearchFest Presentation

Marketing Automation: The 40 Hour Asset

How can marketing automation improve your content flow? John-Henry Scherck, Web Strategist with WP Engine, along with moderator Lisa Williams, President at Sustainable Digital Marketing, will walk you through how to successfully publish content through marketing automation.

Do you already have a basic understanding of marketing automation? This intermediate level course is for those who want to improve their efforts or more fully integrate marketing automation with their digital marketing strategy. Want to learn how to leverage marketing automation to nurture prospects through each part of your sales funnel? This is for you.

Performing a Highly Technical SEO Audit

Do you know how to give your business a thorough SEO audit? Bill Hartzer, Senior Strategist Globe Runner, along with moderator Michael Cottam, Founder of Visual Itineraries, will give you the low-down on how to perform an expert SEO audit of your website.

This intermediate level course makes the assumption that you’re already familiar with basic SEO terms and best practices. Bill will build on that knowledge base by showing you which tools to use in your SEO audit, and why you should use them. You’ll then learn how to leverage these tools to identify potential SEO issues. If you’re a marketing agency you’ll also benefit from learning how to present this kind of an SEO audit to your clients. Marketing managers, aspiring SEO’s, and business owners alike can greatly benefit from a more in-depth understanding of SEO issues and best practices. If you miss this one, check out our overview.

Crafting and Executing a Local Content Strategy

Do you have a local content strategy? Dana DiTomaso, CEO of Kick Point, and Mike Ramsey, Founder of Nifty Marketing, along with moderator David Mihm, Director of Local Search Strategy at Moz will guide you through how to create a local content strategy built to draw your local audience.

Using real life local examples to showcase the highs and lows of local content Dana and Mike will give you the foundational elements necessary to build a successful local content strategy. With search engines constantly enhancing the accuracy of Geo-targeting in search to improve search for the ever-expanding mobile search market, a solid local content strategy is more important than ever. If you run a local business or provide services for local businesses, intimately understanding how to cater content to a local audience is essential. This beginner level course provides value for anyone looking to improve or create a local content strategy.

Office Hours with “Professor Maps”

Are local maps important to your business? Mike Blumenthal “Professor Maps”, Founding Partner of, along with David Mihm Director of Local Search Strategy with Moz, will lead a highly interactive Q&A session to bring you key insights into what it takes to succeed with some of the finer aspects of Google.

Learn some more technical aspects of how Google works, what it takes to earn and leverage customer reviews on search, and dive deeper into what has changed in local search and what the current trends say we can expect from here. This intermediate level course will build on base level knowledge and drive attendees to greater levels of understanding in local search. Want to learn more about how to focus search marketing efforts for local businesses? Check out this course, or read our overview.

Semantic Juggernaut

What’s the deal with semantic search? Mike Arnesen, Director of Analytics & Optimization at SwellPath, and Aaron Bradley, Search Engine and Digital Presence Optimization Analyst at Electronic Arts (EA), along with moderator Mike Rosenberg CEO of Veracity will cover the “Semantic Juggernaut” that is driving SEO’s everywhere a little nuts.

If you already have a strong understanding of traditional SEO and need some clarification on how to adapt your strategies to be in alignment with Google’s Hummingbird update, then this course is for you. Learn more about what semantics are and how they’ve changed the SEO game, then turn these insights into actionable SEO knowledge by discovering how to make semantics work for you. If you want to succeed with SEO in a semantic world, review the most important aspects of this presentation in our overview.

Penalties and Ranking Drops

Are you or your clients hurting from Search penalties? Ian Lurie, Founder and CEO at Portent Inc., and Greg Boser, President and Co-Founder at Foundation Digital, along with their moderator Scott Hendison, CEO of Search Commander Inc., will focus on Google search rank penalties.

From Penguin to Panda Ian and Greg will dive deep into search penalties relating their own experiences and providing the data that shows why penalties are a big deal for businesses. If you’d like to avoid (or get out of) the Google penalties brought on by Penguin and Panda, then this advanced course is for you. Miss the course? Check out our overview and get the core info that will help you identify and conquer search ranking penalties.

Big Data and SEO

Are you harnessing the power of “Big Data”? Join Marshall Simmonds, Founder and CEO of Define Media Group Inc., and moderator Ian Lurie, Founder and CEO at Portent Inc., to get past the buzzword and discover how any organization can leverage big data to drive SEO efforts.

You’ll need to know the basics of what “Big Data” is to get the most from this course. Learn more about the search industry and data collection and analysis can help take your brand to the next level. This course is essential for marketers looking to improve their search strategy and climb the ladder with their search strategy in 2015. Review the key insights from this course in our overview.

Mobile Strategy: Execution to Analysis

Do you know what it takes to succeed on mobile? David Roth, CEO of Emergent Digital, and Marcus Tober, Founder and CTO at Searchmetrics, along with their moderator Lisa Williams, President & Founder of Sustainable Digital Marketing will show you the ins and outs of a successful mobile strategy in 2015.

Many are saying that 2015 is the year for mobile. Google algorithm updates are strongly supporting this notion. There is a lot of opportunity for businesses the recognize, and move to harness the power of adapting their digital marketing strategies for the ever-expanding mobile audience. David and Marcus will show you how to overcome mobile marketing challenges and make mobile one of your biggest successes in 2015. If you’re not at the top of your game with mobile, you must attend this event. Otherwise, you’ll have to settle for our overview.

Competitive Intel

How much do you know about your competition? Industry leaders Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz at Moz, Rae Hoffman, CEO at Pushfire & Sugarrae, along with their moderator Matthew Brown, Senior VP of Special Projects for Moz, share advanced competitive intelligence gathering and audience development techniques to help you dominate your market in 2015.

Have you done in-depth competitive research for yourself or clients? This course will bring you up to date with competitive intel to keep you ahead of ever-changing industry trends. With former SearchFest keynote speaker Rand Fishkin heading up this course, you’re sure to get a lot of useful information. In case you miss it, or if you’re looking for a recap, be sure to read our overview.

Global Search Strategies

How do search strategies change when your market expands to other countries around the world? Michael Bonfils, CEO & President of SEM International, and Zeph Snapp, CEO & Founder of Altura Interactive, along with their moderator Anne Kennedy, President of Outlines Venture Group will be helping you take your search marketing efforts international.

A lot can stand in the way of marketing your company globally; economic disparity, cultural differences, language barriers, and more. This course won’t help you solve all of your international woes, but Michael and Zeph will break down how to adapt your search strategies to be successful outside of the United States. If you already have a firm grasp on basic search concepts and are looking to expand your skills to include global search marketing tactics, then this course is for you. Miss this course? Check out our overview.

Dashboards for Marketers

Are you getting meaningful insights from your data? In Dashboards for Marketers, Annie Cushing, VP of Marketing at YourTango & Annielytics, and Rachael Gerson, Product Marketing Manager at Google, along with their moderator Ben Lloyd, Co-Founder of SEMpdx & SearchFest will explore how to get the most from your data through digital marketing dashboards.

These analytics experts will start you off with the basics and by the end of the course you’ll have a strong understanding of how to take action and begin getting the most from the use of digital marketing dashboards. If you’re struggling with making sense of the numbers and raw data isn’t your thing, this course could help you organize your data leading to more actionable insights for you or your clients. Miss the course? Check out our overview.

How to Make (Piles Of) Money with Social Media In 8 (Absolutely) Attainable Steps

Treading water with your social media efforts? Will Scott, CEO of Search Influence, and Marty Weintraub, Founder & Evangelist at aimClear, along with their moderator Kent Lewis, President & Founder of Anvil Media Inc., will help you get past the social media buzzwords and create a social media strategy that will yield a (hefty) profit.

If you’re well versed in social media and want to turn that knowledge base into revenue, this is the course for you. This jam packed course will cover a wide range of hot-button topics in the world of social media; including how to perform psycho-graphic targeting, PPC advertising, integrate content marketing programs, pair search and social media strategies, and more. If you’re a digital marketer, advertiser, or community manager looking to boost revenue from social media, you won’t want to miss this one. But if you do, check out our overview.

Other Great Seminars at SearchFest

Unfortunately we are not able to attend each SearchFest course this year, but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be valuable to you. If you happen to go to one of these courses that we miss and would like to share your insights with us, we can link to your overview or host a guest post on our blog, just shoot us a message via one of our social media channels or fill out the contact form on our website with your info. Here are the four courses that we’ll be missing:

Social Content & Community

Need to build a social content strategy? Joanna Lord, VP of Consumer Marketing at Porch, and Mark Traphagen, Senior Director of Online Marketing at Stone Temple Consulting, along with their moderator Kevin Getch will tackle the key components of building a successful social content strategy.

A great course for anyone trying to match the right content to their audience for maximum impact, Joanna and Mark will give you the foundation necessary to help you build a great community. If you attended this course, we’d love to hear from you. Tell us what you thought and give us some insights on what you felt was most valuable.

Transform Your Content: Create, Measure, Succeed!

Did you know you can create great links through social media sharing? In this course, Kristy Bolsinger, Manger at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Matt Siltala, President at Avalaunch Media, along with their moderator Todd Mintz will explore how sharing differs across the major social media platforms.

Learn how to determine what to share where on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and more. Providing you with tools to help you in your efforts, Kristy and Matt will show you what it takes to get traction on social media that leads to more links, shares, and sales. If you’re new to social media, this course is a must see. If you attend and have some insights you’d like to share, please reach out to our team.

PPC: Top Hacks and Keywordless Targeting

Want to get the most from your PPC budget? Larry Kim, Founder & CTO at WordStream, and David Rodnitzky, along with their moderator Kevin Getch, Founder & Director of Digital Strategy at Webfor, will show you how to increase your returns without increasing your budget by decreasing your average cost of conversion.

This incredibly talented duo intimately understands the ins and outs of PPC search advertising, and they’ll show you how to identify and exploit loopholes in the system to create large profits for your business. Attend this course and implement the secrets within before the opportunity passes. We’d love to hear what attendees think of this seminar, please reach out to us if you’d like to share.

Mighty Mobile: Bing Ads Insights, Optimization and Conversion

Are you getting the most from Bing? It’s about more than advertising as Microsoft insiders Frances Donegan-Ryan, from the Bing Ads Global Community Engagement team at Microsoft, and Anna Hughes, Sr. Product Marketing Manager of the Mobile/Local team at Microsoft, along with Nathan Isaacs, President & Owner of Seven G Media, show you how to use Bing to get actionable insights into the expanding mobile market.

The insights found in this course have massive implications for your business in 2015. Mobile is growing rapidly and understanding how to harness the power of mobile marketing is necessary for success in 2015 and beyond. Allow this course to take you and your business to new heights by utilizing the latest in mobile. Attending this course? Reach out to us afterwards and let us know what you learned.

Nik Dahlberg

Dedicated Father, enthusiastic marketer. Let's connect.

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